Mumbai: Singapore-based real estate asset manager Mapletree Investment Pte. Ltd is close to buying Chennai-based information technology park SP Infocity, jointly owned by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and Shapoorji Pallonji Investment Advisors, for around 2,300-2,400 crore, according to two people aware of the matter.

Another Singapore-based sovereign fund, GIC Pvt. Ltd, which was bidding along with Mumbai-based real estate firm K. Raheja Corp for the property, is out of the fray, said the first of the two people cited above. GIC and Mapletree were the final contenders for the transaction.

Once concluded, this would be one of the largest office deals in the country in 2018 after the acquisition of Essar Group’s Equinox Business park in Mumbai by Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management Inc. for 2,400 crore earlier this year.

The SP Infocity deal is likely to be closed in the next couple of weeks, the people mentioned above said. Termsheets have already been signed and Mapletree has entered into exclusive talks with owners of the property, the person said.

Spokespersons for Shapoorji Pallonji Investment Advisors, CPPIB and Mapletree did not respond to queries seeking comment.

Located in Chennai’s Old Mahabalipuram road, the property spans 2.7 million sq.ft of leasable space and over 99% of it is occupied by tenants including the World Bank, HSBC and BNP Paribas.

SPREP Pte. Ltd, a joint venture (JV) between CPPIB and Shapoorji Pallonji Group, acquired the IT park for $220 million in 2015. The JV bought out 100% stake in Faery Estates Ltd, an Indian company which owned and operated SP Infocity IT Park.

The deal will mark the return of Mapletree Investment seven years after it bought an office asset in Bengaluru. In 2011, Mapletree India China, a real estate fund under Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd, acquired Assetz Global Technology Park in Bengaluru for 800 crore.

Mapletree has been looking to get back into the Indian commercial real estate market given the pickup in demand in the office building space. In July this year, former executive of property advisory firm JLL India, Hardeep Dayal, was hired as head of its India business (investment and asset management arm).

Despite the residential sector being hammered by low sales, offices have attracted a lot of investment. Recent large office space deals include Blackstone buying 50% stake in Indiabulls Real Estate Ltd’s office properties for 4,750 crore and Ascendas-Singbridge Group’s buyout of two upcoming office buildings in Navi Mumbai’s Aurum Platz IT Park for around 930 crore.

(With inputs from Madhurima Nandy in Bengaluru)

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