A case of cheating has been registered against the directors of Lodha Builders, including Mumbai BJP chief Mangal Prabhat Lodha, in Thane, for allegedly not giving possession of a flat in time. While the complaint was registered at the order of a local court, the matter has been now settled amicably by the flat buyer and the construction group, the police said.
The complainant, who is a retired police officer, purchased a flat at the Lodha Group’s project at Balkum, in Thane, three years ago, said AV Deshmukh, senior inspector of Kapurbawadi police station. The complainant said the Group was expected to hand over possession of the 1,300-sq-ft flat by August 2017. However, as he did not get possession, he filed a complaint with a court in Thane, which directed the police to register a case against the construction group.
A case under IPC sections 420 (cheating) and 406 (criminal breach of trust), was registered against Mangal Prabhat Lodha and others on October 24, 2019, the official said. However, the two parties met the next day and the possession of the flat was handed over to the complainant, he added. Consequently, the complainant told the police that he did not want to pursue the matter further, inspector Deshmukh said.
Moody’s downgrades Lodha Developer’s ratings
Citing the high refinancing risk, weak liquidity position and the challenging operating environment for real estate companies in India, ratings agency Moody’s has downgraded the corporate family rating of realty firm Lodha Developers, to B2 from B1
January 27, 2017: Global ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the corporate family rating of Mumbai-based realty firm Lodha Developers Pvt Ltd (LDPL) to B2 from B1, citing reasons of weak liquidity position and high refinancing risk for such rating. It has also downgraded the senior unsecured debt rating of the US dollar denominated bonds issued by Lodha Developers International Ltd and guaranteed by Lodha Group to B2 from B1 and has given a negative outlook for the rating.
“The downgrade reflects our expectation that the operating environment for the Indian real estate sector will continue to remain weak, post the demonetisation exercise that took place in November 2016. Weak operating conditions will continue to pressure the company’s sales performance over the next 12-18 months,” Moody’s assistant vice-president and analyst, Saranga Ranasinghe said.
As a result, Lodha’s financial profile will no longer be consistent with the previous B1 corporate family rating, he said.
“Sales volumes in the Indian residential market decreased by more than 40% in fourth quarter of 2016, compared to the same period in 2015. As such, we expect LDPL’s operating sales to be 15%-20% lower than Moody’s previous expectations of around Rs 7,000 crores for this fiscal year,” it noted. Moody’s further observed that operating sales over the next 12-18 months will remain at levels that will be substantially lower than those that would allow LDPL to generate excess cash flow to pay down debt.
Lodha’s debt has continued to increase and stood at Rs 13,300 crores (excluding pro rata debt for the London properties) at the end of fiscal 2016. Increase in borrowings was largely driven by an increase construction spending to Rs 3800-4000 crores in the current year, as compared to Rs 2900 crores in the previous year.
LDPL has a high level of refinancing risk in regard to its London properties, particularly given ongoing uncertainties surrounding Brexit.
In addition, LDPL has a weak liquidity position with Rs 300 crores of cash at the end of fiscal 2016, against Rs 2,200 crores of short term debt that needs to be refinanced during the 12 months ending December 2017.
The company, however, continues to have access to project construction loans, to refinance these borrowings. The company estimates that it has over Rs 3,000 crores of undrawn credit lines and construction loans provided by relationship Indian banks. “An upgrade in the ratings is unlikely, given the negative outlook. The outlook could return to stable, if the company is able to refinance the short-term debt maturities in London with longer-term construction debt facilities,” Moodys said.
Further negative pressure on the rating could arise, if the company’s operating performance and liquidity position fails to improve, or it engages in any material debt-funded land acquisitions. The company reported contracted sales of Rs 6,430 crores in FY16. LDPL is focused on residential development in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, with some projects in nearby Pune. The company along with its promoters, has also expanded into the London market by acquiring two properties, which are now in the process of development.