Firm sells holdings in Gurugram, Mumbai to Blackstone, looks to offload rest soon
Balckstone’s property investments in India are set to cross the $6-bn mark this year
Indiabulls Real Estate Ltd (IBREL) said it has sold its remaining stake in some of its office assets in Gurugram and central Mumbai to Blackstone Group Lp for around ₹2,717 crore, paving the way for the New York-based investor to take full control of IBREL’s commercial office portfolio.
In a statement, the Mumbai-based developer said it has sold its stakes in joint venture companies Yashita Buildcon Ltd and Ashkit Properties Ltd—which own assets in Udyog Vihar, Gurugram and certain subsidiaries in Indiabulls Properties Pvt. Ltd and Indiabulls Real Estate Co. Pvt. Ltd, that own assets at Lower Parel in Mumbai—to Blackstone. The sale of these assets was concluded on 25 September.
“...This has generated significant financial resources for the company towards achieving its goal of zero net debt in the current financial year," IBREL said.
IBREL and its subsidiaries are also in the process of finalizing a transaction with Blackstone “to divest direct or indirect stake in commercial assets at Worli in Mumbai, rights or stake in Delhi’s K.G. Marg and Sector 104 & Sector 106 in Gurugram", the IBREL statement said. Once the Worli and Gurugram deals are concluded, the entire strategic stake divestment to Blackstone will total up to ₹4,420 crore.
Once the acquisition of stake in all projects is concluded, it will give Blackstone complete control and ownership of IBREL’s pan-India commercial office portfolio.
“Once the transactions are done, the ready office assets will eventually be added to the Embassy Office Parks REIT, which is co-owned by Blackstone and Embassy Group," said a person familiar with the development, who asked not to be named. A Blackstone spokesperson didn’t respond to queries.
The New York-based investor had first bought 50% stake in some of IBREL’s office projects in Mumbai, in early 2018, for ₹4,750 crore. Later, it had also bought Indiabulls’ office park in Chennai for ₹900 crore. To be sure, apart from the strategic aim to reduce debt, the recent transactions are part of Indiabulls Group’s larger plan to exit the real estate business and the proposed merger with Lakshmi Vilas Bank. In June, Bengaluru-based developer Embassy Group bought 14% in IBREL from promoter Sameer Gehlaut for around ₹950 crore at around ₹150 a share. Embassy, along with Blackstone, has also been contemplating how to buy the remaining 14% as planned earlier, with minimum cash payout. Blackstone’s property investments in India are set to cross the $6-billion mark this year, even as the global private equity firm plans to diversify into the logistics sector. As of March, Blackstone had committed around $5.4 billion in real estate assets in India, of which $4 billion is in office assets alone. Post-March, it bought the ‘One BKC’ office building in Mumbai for ₹2,500 crore. Then, in September, Blackstone and developer partner Salarpuria Sattva bought the 100-acre Global Village Technology Park in Bengaluru for ₹2,800 crore (around $390 million) from Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd. Of this, Blackstone’s share of investment is around $275 million.