High Court (India)

June 27, 2019

Godrej Family Hires Top Law Firms To Reorganize 3,400-Acre Vikhroli Land Holding Estimated To Be Worth Rs 20K Crore


[ By Bobby Anthony ]

Adi-Godrej-Jamshyd-Godrej-&-Nadir-Godrej

Godrej & Boyce Chairman Jamshyd Godrej has hired veteran investment banker Nimesh Kampani of JM Financial and lawyer Zia Mody of AZB Partners to help in the reorganization of the 3,400 acres Godrej family land holding at the Godrej Vikhroli complex, it has been reported.

On the other side of the Godrej family, Jamshyd Godrej’s cousins Adi Godrej (Godrej Group Chairman) and Nadir Godrej (Godrej Agrovet Chairman) have reportedly hired banker Uday Kotak and Cyril Shroff of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas.

Presently, the Godrej group owns 3,400 acres in Vikhroli, a northeastern suburb of Mumbai. Of this, about 1,000 acres could be developed. The 1,000-acre land bank at Vikhroli, which could be developed, is potentially worth Rs 20,000 crore at the prevailing market price of Rs 20 crore per acre in the Vikhroli area, according to real estate experts.

Another 1,750 acres has mangroves and will not be developed because of environmental concerns, Adi Godrej had promised in 2011, while the rest of 300 acres of land has been encroached upon.

Incidentally, the major part of the land parcel was acquired by the Godrej family in the early 1940s from the receiver of the Bombay High Court. It was originally given by the British East India Company to a Parsi merchant called Framjee Banaji in the 1830s and then came up for sale in 1941-42. After acquiring this land parcel, the Godrej family also bought up adjoining plots by negotiating with 200 plot owners.

In 2011, Godrej Properties entered into an agreement with Godrej & Boyce to develop the land and in recent times, it launched a 35-acre mixed-use project called The Trees, on the land.

Significantly, Godrej group companies from both sides of the Godrej family have minority stakes in each other’s companies as well as representations on the boards of each other’s companies.

The Godrej group was set up by Ardeshir Godrej, who began his journey in 1897, by selling locks along with his brother Pirojsha Godrej. While Ardeshir Godrej had no children, Pirojsha’s sons Burjor, Sohrab, and Naval managed the group.

Today, the Godrej group is run by Burjor’s sons Adi Godrej and Nadir Godrej, besides Naval’s son, Jamshyd Godrej.

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