Canada’s Ivanhoe Cambridge is upping its bets on India’s commercial real estate sector with the announcement today of a partnership with Singapore’s Mapletree Investments to develop, acquire and operate workplaces for the country’s burgeoning tech sector.
Ivanhoe Cambridge, the real estate investment arm of pension fund manager Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, together with its Temasek Holdings-owned partner, says the new venture will have an investment capacity of over C$2.5 billion ($1.86 billion), and that properties and projects have already been identified to realise that vision, which aims to profit from sustainable assets.
“We are particularly pleased to find such great alignment with Mapletree for India, on our values, ESG ambitions and their 15-year experience in India,” said George Agethen, co-head of Asia-Pacific for Ivanhoe Cambridge said in a statement. “This partnership continues our growth plans for the APAC region, bringing diversification to our portfolio and resilience to our returns.”
This latest announcement follows earlier Ivanhoe Cambridge investments in India including a $500 million office platform with local developer Embassy Group and industrial ventures with local builder Lodha and Australia’s Logos Property.
Making India Green and Healthy
Mapletree will lead real estate development, project management, leasing and operations for the venture, according to the partners, with the company having invested in projects in the country through its array of both private and public funds.
The new strategy will invest in both development of new Class A workplace assets in India’s key economic hubs, as well as acquisition of stabilised assets in those locations. The partners are focused on urban hubs which are benefiting from the growth of India’s tech sector, particularly those geographies which are becoming home to global capability centres, as well as large domestic and international technology services corporations.
The partners vow that the portfolio assembled by the venture will meet industry benchmarks on sustainability credentials, aligning with Ivanhoe Cambridge’s and Mapletree’s commitments to achieve net zero operational carbon by 2040 and 2050, respectively. They also are aiming to secure sustainable building accreditations for the properties, as well as meeting healthy workplace standards, such as WELL certification.
“There is a considerable synergy in this strategic partnership as it pools together leading expertise across the real estate value chain from two globally recognised firms,” said Quek Kwang Meng, regional chief executive officer for India at Mapletree. “It will allow us to strengthen our presence in India, and expand our portfolio in the commercial sector efficiently, which we believe has good growth potential in the coming years.”
Betting on Tech Growth
Ivanhoe Cambridge and Mapletree praised the India venture as an opportunity to strengthen their exposure to the country’s tech sector, which they see as supported by long-term fundamentals and a high-quality talent pool.
In March 2021 Ivanhoe Cambridge had announced a partnership with Embassy Group to acquire and develop business parks in key Indian cities, with the Canadian institution holding 80 percent of the equity in that venture, which was seeded with a 60 acre (24.3 hectare) property on Whitefield Main Road in Bengaluru.
Some months later the Ivanhoe followed up by agreeing to invest together with Lighthouse Canton in acquiring a life science portfolio in Hyderabad’s Genome Valley in July that year.
With its scale and rapid growth, India’s office sector has seen a surge in foreign investment by international institutions, with Ivanhoe’s compatriots from Brookfield Asset Management having seen income for their Brookfield India office trust climb 60 percent year on year in the fourth quarter.
In November of last year, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) committed $500 million to an opportunistic real estate fund managed by India’sKotak Investment Advisors, and the India division of Singapore’s Capitaland Development said in August last year that it aims to double its India assets under management to $8 billion in value.
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