ASK Property Investment injects $50 mn into two Pune developers
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ASK Property Investment Advisors, the real estate investment arm of financial services company ASK Group, has invested Rs 350 crore ($50 million) in a bunch of projects of two Pune-based real estate developers, it said in a statement.

The real estate investment firm has invested Rs 275 crore and another Rs 75 crore in the residential and commercial projects of Paranjape and Naiknavare groups, respectively, the statement added.

This is the realty firm's third investment in Paranjape and second in Naiknavare.

"All these investments are in projects located in the suburbs with proximity to job markets and access to social and physical infrastructure. Our strategy is to recapitalise/deleverage projects of developers who are customer centric with focus on product, quality and timely completion," Amit Bhagat, managing director and chief executive officer of ASK Property Investment Advisors, said in the statement.

In March this year, ASK Property Investment Advisors invested Rs 326 crore ($47 million) in the projects of QVC Reality Developers, Tridhaatu Realty and TVS Emerald, which is part of the TVS Group.

"We have executed multiple deals in the last six months. Through our funds, we intend to provide our developer partners with patient capital thereby enabling them in project completion, driving sales, generating better cash flows and increasing profitability," Sunil Rohokale, MD and CEO of the ASK Group said in the statement.

These investments are happening at a time when developers across the country are going through a massive liquidity crunch. Developers for a long time were mostly dependent on non-banking finance companies for financing and refinancing but the situation changed after the IL&FS fiasco. The liquidity issue presents a good opportunity for private equity firms to take advantage of the lending gap and deploy capital.

In 2017, ASK Group had separately announced that ASK Property Investment Advisors and TVS Emerald Haven Realty Ltd had partnered each other to set up a Rs 400-crore real estate investment platform focused on mid-income housing and affordable housing.

ASK Group is working on its initial public offering and is expected to get listed soon. It offers services across wealth advisory and multi-family office service as well as portfolio management services – real estate and private equity.

In real estate investments, ASK Group invested in a bunch of projects of southern real estate developer Shriram Properties and also created a platform with the developer. The group had also backed a commercial project of ATS Group, marking its first investment in the commercial space.

ASK Property Investment Advisors raised its first domestic fund of Rs 326 crore under tough market conditions in the period from March 2009 to December 2009. It raised a second domestic fund of Rs 1,000 crore in 2011 and a third domestic fund of Rs 1,400 crore in 2016.

ASK Group has also raised Rs 500 crore ($82 million) for its maiden offshore fund. The company has also raised structured debt of over Rs 575 crore for some of the most reputed and financially prudent developers which are fully prepaid. In March 2018, it announced the final close for its structured equity fund of Rs 898 crore.

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