Blackstone Group is reportedly in talks to acquire a $525 million India real estate fund, adding to the US private equity giant’s $3 billion of property investments in the country. The New York-based company is looking to buy ILFS India Realty Fund I, a vehicle owned by Indian private equity fund manager IL&FS Investment Managers Ltd (IIML), according to a local media report.
The deal would give Blackstone control of 11 portfolios on the subcontinent, including IG3 Ltd (formerly ETL Infrastructure Services Ltd), a Chennai-based developer of infrastructure and business parks with an equity investment of $48 million, and QVC Realty Co Ltd, a Bangalore-based real estate development startup with $100 million invested. ILFS India Realty Fund I has a diversified portfolio of income-generating assets and development projects across multiple geographies, according to IIML’s corporate website.
The proposed acquisition would reportedly be signed through Blackstone’s local property arm, Blackstone India Real Estate Advisors. Blackstone’s relationship with IL&FS goes back to 2015, when the alternative asset manager agreed to buy a 74 percent stake owned by the Indian fund manager in a corporate park in suburban Mumbai.
Blackstone Is Now One of India’s Leading Commercial Landlords
Blackstone has been quietly buying up office and retail assets in India and is now one of the largest owners of office property in the country, with a portfolio of over 30 million square feet (2.8 million square metres), including the country’s largest cache of office parks.
In addition to this latest deal, the New York-based alternative investment giant is moving to acquire a 15 percent stake in the 20 million square foot (1.9 million square metre) commercial property portfolio of developer K Raheja Corp for around $250 million. Blackstone is also said to be seeking listings for two separate REITs in India with partners Embassy Group and Panchshil Realty – the former focused on office assets in southern India, and the latter focused on office properties in the National Capital Region and western part of the country.
The private equity firm has also scooped up a series of Indian retail properties in the past couple of years, most recently buying a 50 percent stake in Pune’s Westend Mall for $59.9 million. Blackstone’s portfolio now totals five malls in India spanning 3.4 million square feet (315,870 square metres).
Blackstone is preparing to launch a new real estate fund aiming to raise at least $5 billion for real estate investments in the region, including India.