HT Estates

Logistics developer ESR close to buying land in Mumbai, Pune

- Bidya Sapam

Warburg Pincus-backed logistics developer e-Shang Redwood (ESR) is close to signing two land deals totalling over ₹200 crore in Mumbai and Pune to kick off its India business, twopeople aware of the matter said.

ESR is conducting the final due diligence to buy nearly 100 acres in Bhiwandi, 36km out of Mumbai, fromconstr­uction firm Supreme Infrastruc­ture Ltd, the first person said on condition of anonymity, adding the deal value is estimated at ₹130 crore.

According to the second person, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, ESR is close to signing a deal for 60 acres in Pune for an estimated ₹90 crore.

Abhijit Malkani, co- chief executive officer, ESR Advisors India, confirmed both deals but declined to provide details of the transactio­n.

“We are in the process of finalizing a (piece of) land at Bhiwandi. We are in the final stages of due diligence. We expect to close it within the next 60 days,” Malkani said, adding the firm expects to build a “modern logistic park” in the next six months.

The company is also gearing up to launch operations in Pune and Kolkata. “We are in the final stages of land acquisitio­n in Pune. We are also looking to launch in Kolkata as well. We should be launching them in the next three months,” Malkani said.

Based out of Hong Kong and Singapore, ESR has been scouting for opportunit­ies to re-enter the Indian market after it left the country following the global financial crisis. Globally, it owns and manages over 7.3 million sq. metres of assets in China, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.

Last year, Charles de Portes, co-founder and president of ESR had said the firm would invest over $100 million in India annually as part of its plan to launch its business in India. Between 2006 and 2009, Redwood Group (before its merger with e-Shang) had secured land and started discussion­s to form joint ventures (JVs) in India, but none of the projects took off.

Last year, it decided to return with fresh investment plans.

In an interview with Mint last year, Portes had said that ESR plans to build logistics and warehouse parks of around100,000 sq. metres annually in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Pune either via JVs with local partners or on its own.

 ??  ?? Abhijit Malkani
Abhijit Malkani

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