Wal-Mart Supplier Alok Plans to Sell Real Estate Investments

Alok Industries Ltd., an Indian supplier of sportswear to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Gap Inc., plans to dispose of its real estate investments to reduce debt and raise money for working capital needs.

Alok Industries, India’ second-largest apparel and textile manufacturer by market value, had spent about 15 billion rupees ($317 million) since October 2006 on four real-estate projects in Mumbai, Chief Financial Officer Sunil Khandelwal said in a phone interview today.

“The projects in which we invested are either at a stage of completion or at a point at which we can cash in,” Khandelwal said. “The investments back then were not done with the intention to get into realty business but to capitalize on the opportunity we saw then.”

The sale of the assets may help the company pay part of its 85 billion rupees debt set to cost as much as 5.75 billion rupees in interest payments in the year ending March 31, according to Khandelwal. The timing of the sale has not been decided, he said.

Alok Industries declined 0.7 percent to 20.45 rupees at 2:27 p.m. in Mumbai trading. The stock has dropped 10.3 percent this year compared with a 2.8 percent gain in the benchmark Sensitive Index of the Bombay Stock Exchange.

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