In­di­a­b­ulls to sell 50% stake in Mum­bai of­fice as­sets to Black­stone

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Estates - - FRONT PAGE - Mad­hurima Nandy mad­

Global pri­vate eq­uity firm Black­stone Group Lp is set to buy a 50% stake in In­di­a­b­ulls Real Es­tate Ltd’s prime of­fice as­sets in cen­tral Mum­bai for an en­ter­prise val­u­a­tion of around $1.3 bil­lion, said two peo­ple di­rectly aware of the trans­ac­tion.

The as­sets in­clude In­di­a­b­ulls Fi­nance Cen­tre and One In­di­a­b­ulls Cen­tre. On Wed­nes­day, In­di­a­b­ulls Real Es­tate in­formed the BSE that ne­go­ti­a­tions and dis­cus­sions with the third party in­vestor/s for fi­nal­iza­tion of trans­ac­tion are on and a meet­ing of the share­hold­ers will be con­vened on 23 Marchre­gard­ing the pro­posed di­vest­ment.

In­di­a­b­ulls is also in dis­cus­sions to mon­e­tise or sell off its res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial projects in Chennai. The two Mum­bai as­sets have around 3.3 mil­lion sq. ft of leasable area. Along with One In­di­a­b­ulls Park in Chennai, these three com­pleted as­sets are ex­pected to gen­er­ate an­nu­ity rev­enue of Rs813 crore by 2020-21, as per the com­pany’s De­cem­ber quar­ter in­vestor pre­sen­ta­tion.

If the Black­stone-In­di­a­b­ulls deal goes through, it will be the first big real es­tate trans­ac­tion of 2018. A Black­stone spokesper­son de­clined to com­ment. In­di­a­b­ulls didn’t re­spond to an email query. The Mum­bai-based de­vel­oper has one res­i­den­tial town­ship project—In­di­a­b­ulls Greens—in Chennai.

The project is be­ing de­vel­oped in three phases, of which the first phase has been de­liv­ered. “Indi- ab­ulls is look­ing to sell off its res­i­den­tial project in Chennai for around Rs250-300 crore. Some buy­ers and in­vestors have ex­pressed in­ter­est. Chennai is a non-core prop­erty mar­ket and hence In­di­a­b­ulls plans to exit,” said one of the two peo­ple men­tioned above, ask­ing not to be named. In an­other trans­ac­tion, In­di­a­b­ulls is also plan­ning to mon­e­tise the One In­di­a­b­ulls Park project in Chennai’s Am­bat­tur area, which has 2 mil­lion sq. ft of leasable area.

“It is yet to be de­cided whether it will be com­pletely sold or will only be a stake sale,” said a sec­ond per­son, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity. Un­like the res­i­den­tial sec­tor that has wit­nessed a pro­longed slow­down, the com­mer­cial real es­tate seg­ment has at­tracted the in­ter­est of in­vestors across the globe.

Black­stone’s real es­tate arm has com­mit­ted around $4.1 bil­lion across 27 in­vest­ments in In­dia, mak­ing it pos­si­bly the largest owner of com­mer­cial of­fice as­sets in the coun­try.

While of­fice has been Black­stone’s core fo­cus area here, it has also been steadily in­vest­ing in shop­ping malls as well as hos­pi­tal­ity projects. Ear­lier this week, Mint re­ported that Black­stone is set to buy an 80% stake in Nitesh Hub, a shop­ping mall in Pune’s Kore­gaon Park from real es­tate firm Nitesh Es­tates Ltd for around Rs310 crore.

Black­stone and Sin­ga­pore’s sov­er­eign wealth fund GIC Pte Ltd have been ag­gres­sively in­vest­ing in com­mer­cial real es­tate. In 2017, in one of the largest real es­tate deals in the coun-


Chennai is a non­core prop­erty mar­ket

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