Singapore’s Ascendas-Singbridge Group today announced a new S$400 million ($300 million) investment programme with government giant Temasek Holdings to develop a portfolio of as much as 15 million square feet (1.39 million square metres) of industrial real estate projects in India.
The investment in Indian warehouses and manufacturing facilities comes just under one year after Ascendas-Singbridge set up a $500 million joint venture with India’s Firstspace Realty to exploit industrial real estate opportunities in the south Asian nation.
In a statement, Ascendas-Singbridge said that the joint programme with Temasek would be executed through its Ascendas-Firstspace joint venture.
Temasek-Backed Fund to Pursue Projects in Indian Industrial Hubs
Temasek, which has an investment portfolio valued at more than $206 billion, sees its latest India bet as a play on the country’s growing middle class.
“We view the logistics and industrial sector as a good proxy to growing middle-income populations and transforming economies,” Temasek managing director for India Promeet Ghosh said in a statement. “The positive momentum of the sector, underpinned by the Indian government’s Make in India vision as well as healthy consumption trends, present opportunities for us to further invest in India’s continued growth.”
The platform will invest in projects in key Indian warehousing and manufacturing hubs including Mumbai, National Capital Region, Pune, Chennai, Bangalore and Ahmedabad, according to the statement.
With two seed assets already in place which total 1.25 million square feet of operational space and more than four million square feet in development potential, the programme aims to develop a portfolio of 13 to 15 million square feet of space in the future.
“Ascendas-Singbridge has over 20 years of experience in India and we are committed to India’s real estate growth story. Given strong domestic consumption trends, investments in high-quality logistics and industrial facilities are necessary to support India’s economic growth in the years to come,” He Jihong, Chief Investment Officer for the company said in the statement.
In February of this year, local media in India reported that Ascendas-Firstspace had made its first known acquisition since the joint venture was set up in June last year, by purchasing a logistics park in Chennai for an undisclosed sum. Ascendas-Singbridge is also active in developing business parks in India, where it has worked with Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC on commercial development projects.
India Deal in Synch With Reported UK Investment
Ascendas-Singbridge’s India announcement on Wednesday came just one day after the company was reported to be in advanced talks to purchase a logistics portfolio in the UK for over £200 million ($268 million), which would mark the state-backed commercial developer’s first acquisition in the European market.
Ascendas-Singbridge, whose projects are currently all in Asia Pacific, is poised to snap up the 12-asset Project Owl from Oxenwood Catalina, according to an account in the Estates Gazette. The seller is a joint venture between London-based Oxenwood Real Estate and reinsurance investment company Catalina Holdings.
The portfolio of UK assets was put on the market by Oxenwood Catalina in early May with an asking price of £200 million, local media reports show. Ascendas-Singbridge did not reply to enquiries by Mingtiandi at the time of publication.
UK Sheds Count Amazon, DHL as Tenants
The Project Owl assets were acquired over the past four years by Oxenwood Catalina since the joint venture was established in 2014. The JV made its maiden investment by purchasing the UK headquarters and distribution centre of Maplin Electronics in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, for £15.1 million from Merseyside Pension Fund in October 2014.
At the end of 2016, the venture acquired a pair of logistics facilities in Sheffield and Burton-upon-Trent in East Staffordshire for a combined £26 million. The Sheffield property spanning 134,400 square feet (12,486 square metres) is let to US e-commerce giant Amazon while the 173,275 square foot logistics facility in Burton houses DHL Supply Chain.
The deal was followed by the real estate joint venture’s £23.7 million purchase of two logistics properties in Nottinghamshire in October last year.
Ascendas-Singbridge Takes $15B Portfolio Global
In addition to its reported venture into Britain, Ascendas-Singbridge, which has S$20 billion ($15 billion) of business parks, townships and mixed-use developments under management across nine countries in the region. is jointly held by Singapore’s Temasek Holdings and JTC Corporation through a 51:49 partnership.
The group has projects across 28 cities in countries including Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Singapore and South Korea, while managing three Singapore-listed funds and private real estate vehicles under its subsidiary Ascendas.