Blackstone plans over $2B investment in India by 2020
Other | Photo Credit: Reuters

Blackstone, the world's largest alternative investment asset manager, plans to invest more than $2 billion in India over the next five to six years, as it sees the South Asian nation bereft of red flags present in other large emerging markets.

The firm, which has invested close to $4.8 billion since it set up shop in India about a decade ago, will invest across sector-agnostic private equity and real estate asset classes. It is also looking at bringing its credit and special situations investment practice to India, two senior executives at the firm told The Economic Times.

The report said that the firm will invest a good chunk of the latest $23 billion raised in the latest global flagship fund Blackstone Capital Partners VII.

However, as per a US Securities and Exchange Commission disclosure, the fund vehicle raised around $17 billion early this year.

An emailed query to the company's spokesperson seeking clarity on its plans did not elicit any response by the time of filing this article.

Last month, it also hit final close of its latest global real estate fund—Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII—where it has raised $15.8 billion.

Blackstone has been an especially aggressive investor in commercial realty assets in India. Indeed, over half of its investment in the country to date has been in the real estate sector.

Joseph Baratta, global head of PE at Blackstone Group, told the paper: “India is our largest destination for capital (among emerging markets) and will continue to be so but it may even outweigh relative to what we have invested in the last five to six years.”

Baratta, however, cautioned that many laws in the country will have to be changed for global investors to get comfortable with investing in debt in India.

He hinted that the PE firm would wait for more reforms and clarity before bringing the credit and special situations investment unit in India.

Blackstone's peers KKR and Apollo Global have already established vehicles to cater to these alternate funding modes in India. KKR runs an active debt funding unit while Apollo has a special situations PE joint venture with ICICI Venture under AION.

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