Buy Out

Oct 27, 2009 (LBO) – Ceylinco Land Exchange, a real estate firm in Sri Lanka’s troubled Ceylinco group, is striking out under a new name, while employees are negotiating to buy out the firm, officials said. The firm is now operating under the name of People’s Realty Limited.

“The management is negotiating with relevant companies [to buy the shares],” chief executive director of People’s Realty Bhathiya Satharasinghe said.

The firm was started 1991 is 99 percent owned by Ceylinco firms. The book value of the company is 6.9 million rupees and the shares would be offered to 47 employees, he said.

The Ceylinco group ran into trouble after a Golden Key Credit Card Company, an unregulated firm which paid high interest rates, collapsed late last year. Numerous Ceylinco firms were engaged in financial services and property.

The stock of People’s Realty is held by several Ceylinco group firms, lead by Asian Leasing Corporation (44 percent) Ceylinco Asset Management (30 percent), Ceylinco Developers Limited (15.5 percent) and Asian Finance (9.6 percent).

The firm says the housing market has now cooled and building costs are also lower.

Sri Lanka’s inflation and land prices rocketed u