Tishmen Speyer, one of the biggest real estate asset managers in the world, is pushing for an acquisition led growth in India with the induction of Avnish Singh, the former head of the India unit at GE Capital Real Estate. He has boarded Tishman Speyer as managing director spearheading acquisitions for India.

VCCircle has learnt that Tishman Speyer is already on the prowl and in advanced discussions to acquire a large unfinished commercial project in Gurgaon for roughly Rs 400 crore. Singh, who entered the firm in recent months, declined to comment stating the company policy not to discuss specific investments and outlays.

Tishman, which has properties such as New York's Rockefeller Center, has been part of the three biggest real estate deals in the US - the sale of 666 Fifth Avenue for $1.8 billion, the purchase of MetLife Building for $1.72 billion and the more recent $5.4 billion buyout of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village comprising 80 acres of prime Manhattan land that includes 110 buildings and 11,232 apartments. But the last deal also landed Tishman in one the worst leveraged real estate debacles when it lost the asset after defaulting on loans.

As Tishman looks to step up buyouts in Indian realty, it is not clear how much capital the global giant would spend on domestic acquisitions. One industry source said, Tishman would look at club deals or joint acquisitions with other investors after identifying buyout targets. "Tishman may look at syndicating deals to multiple investors," this source added.

Tishman will chase acquisitions in both commercial and residential segments. While the firm has an existing portfolio in South India, it is now focusing on acquisitions in the Delhi, Mumbai and the Bangalore area, said Singh. "We are looking at outright 100% acquisitions as well as joint ventures," Singh added.

Tishman's current portfolio in India includes two projects in Hyderabad and one in Chennai. These are a 400-acre integrated township located at Tellapur (Hyderabad), an IT park serving over 20,000 professionals located in Hyderabad and 113 acres residential township in Chennai.

Private equity funds like Tishman Speyer and also the UBS-Raheja joint venture are eyeing troubled assets in the real estate, but large buyout opportunities might not materialize. The valuation of developments of listed real estate players have shot up in the recent times.

Tishman Speyer earlier had a real estate joint venture in India with ICICI Venture Funds Management, where it invested from a $500 million real estate fund. The New York-based firm later bought the stake of ICICI Venture, which is now raising an independent real estate fund with a corpus of around Rs 1,000 crore. Tishman recently commissioned the first phase of the Waverock IT Park in Hyderabad and has signed leases with companies like Accenture and Tata Consultancy Services.


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