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NEW DELHI-In what is believed to be the largest stock sale of its kind ever attempted in India, billionaire real estate developer K.P. Singh’s DLF Universal Ltd. hopes to raise $3 billion when it starts offering shares to investors later this month or early July, the company says in a share sale document.

The company initially announced the planned IPO in April but hadn’t set a specific sale figure. DLF plans to use the proceeds to purchase land, fund development and construction projects and repay 136 billion rupees (US $2.96 billion) in loans, according to the company filing with the market regulator. If the additional share sale option is exercised in full, the Singh family ownership of DLF would drop to 86.06% from 98.66%, the document states.

Merrill Lynch & Co. and Uday Kotak’s Mahindra Capital Co. will be managing the sale. UBS AG, Morgan Stanley, Enam Financial Consultants Ltd., ICICI Securities Ltd and Citigroup Inc. are book runners. SBI Capital Markets Ltd. will also help sell the stock. The stock price hasn’t yet been determined. The filing states DLF plans to sell 202 million shares. Of that amount, 187.1 million would be new shares. DLF also has the option to sell an additional 17 million shares. The total sale would equate to a 12.77% stake in the company.

Industry sources say the IPO will test investor confidence in India’s sagging stock market. The Mumbai stock exchange Senstive Index fell 14% in May, its biggest drop since May 2004. The decline has taken the price-to-earnings ratio of the index to 18.9 times from a high of 25.2 times in April.

The DLF filing states the company is changing its focus from office and retail leasing to selling more of its developments. As of April 30 this year, the company owned 1,372 acres representing about 102 million sf of available land for development. Industry sources have valued the land at about 1.06 trillion rupees (US $23 billion). The filing says DLF is also negotiating to buy 2,893 additional acres for development into about 118 millions sf of saleable land throughout India.

The company says its net income for the year ended March 31, 2006 was 1.99 billion rupees (US $43 million). Sales totaled 12.59 million rupees (US $273 million).

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