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Xander Investment Management, the private equity real estate arm of Singapore-based The Xander Group Inc., on Wednesday said its industrial platform has acquired 1 million sq. ft of warehousing space in  the Free Trade and Warehousing Zone (FTWZ) at Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu.

Xander did not disclose the investment details. However, a person familiar with the development said that the value of the acquisition is 400-500 crore.

Xander already owns 1 million sq. ft of warehouses in FTWZ and the new acquisition, which is part of its $250 million industrial platform, will double its ownership in the park.

Notified as the first FTWZ in India and recently approved as a multi-sector special economic zone (SEZ), the park provides Grade-A warehousing and industrial facilities to global operators and manufacturers.

Current occupiers include companies such as DHL, DB Schenker, Kerry Indev, TVS Supply Chain and Seaways Supply Chain.

“The expansion in FTWZ is fuelled by strong tenant performance and enhanced demand from existing and new occupiers. The new facilities will provide a further thrust to the logistics and manufacturing sectors in the region and act as a catalyst for more rapid economic development in Tamil Nadu," said a Xander spokesperson.

The FTWZ is located on the Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC) with connectivity to Chennai, Ennore and Kamrajar Ports, which together account for nearly 20% of the container traffic in the country. It is also close to the industrial belts of Oragadam, Maraimalai Nagar, Tiruvallur and Kanchipuram, which are home to a number of electronics and auto and auto ancillary companies.

“The recognition of FTWZ as a multi-sector special economic zone provides enormous growth opportunity to attract relocating supply chains which are seeking to set up manufacturing in the CBIC. Being asset light is the mantra for most of the relocating supply chains. FTWZ has already provided more than 1,000 jobs and further expansion will create more employment and immensely contribute to the local economy. With one-third of exports from SEZs, it has the potential to become a strong pillar of the Indian economy," said Sunil Rallan, chairman and managing director, JMFTZ, the promoter of FTWZ.

Xander has been steadily ramping up its warehousing platform. Earlier this year, it acquired a 31-acre logistics park in Bagnan, West Bengal, in its first warehousing investment in eastern India as regional demand grows. It also leased around 1.1 million sq. ft of warehousing space to e-commerce firms Amazon India and Walmart-owned Flipkart in Bhiwandi, Maharashtra this year.

Property consultant Knight Frank India has projected warehousing transactions for the top eight Indian cities (primary markets) to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 19% to 76.2 million sq. ft by 2025-26 from 31.7 million sq. ft in 2020-21, according to the recent India Warehousing Market Report 2021.

Despite a decline in warehousing transactions in the top eight Indian cities in FY21 due to pandemic-led disruptions, Mumbai remained the most expensive prime warehouse rental market in the country, followed by Bengaluru.

“The warehousing sector in India witnessed a marginal impact of the second wave of pandemic as the occupiers were well geared up for negating the exigencies. More than half of the area transacted in top Indian warehousing markets were recorded in prime asset properties. The warehousing markets in primary and secondary Indian regions are likely to remain resilient in the coming months," said Shishir Baijal, chairman and managing director, Knight Frank India.

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