Mumbai: Pharmaceutical firm Abbott India Ltd has closed a 1,400 crore deal to buy office space in Mumbai, in one of the largest commercial real estate deals in recent times, said two persons familiar with the transaction.

Abbott has bought 500,000 sq. ft. in office space at Godrej BKC in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), they said.

The commercial property market has seen a pick-up over the past year, as demand for office space from multinational, information technology (IT) and pharmaceutical firms and start-ups has risen.

The revival in the commercial property market is in contrast to the residential market where unsold inventories have risen in major markets.

The Abbott deal reflects this pick up in commercial property.

“It is a phenomenal deal, a single-cheque transaction. Pharmaceutical companies don’t spend that kind of money, especially at BKC, which is expensive and where normally banks go and set up their headquarters," said one of the two persons quoted above.

He declined to be identified because the deal has not been made public.

The second person quoted above said the deal had been clinched last month and is subject to approvals. The global real estate consultancy, Cushman & Wakefield was the advisor to the deal.

Cushman & Wakefield has declined to comment on the deal.

“We don’t have any comment to share on this matter," said an Abbott spokesperson.

Godrej BKC is an upcoming 19-storey commercial project, jointly developed by Godrej Properties Ltd (GPL) and Jet Airways (India) Ltd.

In 2011, Godrej Properties had acquired the development rights from Jet Airways to build the property.

A Godrej Properties spokesperson said the firm does not want to comment.

In the last few years, BKC has emerged as one of the prime commercial hubs in Mumbai. The average price of commercial property in BKC ranges between 20,000 and 34,000 per sq.ft. while the rental rates go up to 270 per sq.ft. per month, estimates from property consulting firm JLL India show.

“Multinational firms, which are looking for long-term business in India are increasingly choosing BKC to set up their head offices. This is a good time to sign up deals as property prices and rent will rise soon because of increasing demand for commercial space there," said Ashutosh Limaye, research head, JLL India.

The Abbott deal is among the largest commercial real estate transactions in India.

In 2012, another pharmaceutical firm, Cipla Ltd, had bought 1.30 lakh sq.ft. at Peninsula Business Park in Lower Parel for about 985 crore.

Demand for commercial real estate has seen significant growth over the last one year.

According to a report by property advisory CBRE, the uptake of commercial office space rose by 70% in the second quarter of 2015 over the previous quarter, led by banking, financial and insurance services (BFSI) sector.

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