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Blackstone invests $29M in Ozone’s Chennai residential project

Private equity investor Blackstone has invested Rs 175 crore ($29.06 million) in a Chennai residential project of Bangalore-based Ozone Group, as per a report in Mint citing company's chief S Vasudevan.

This would arguably mark one of the first known standalone residential project investment for Blackstone, which has been focusing on larger ticket size deals for rental commercial properties.

The investment has been made through non-convertible debentures and Ozone plans to use the money to reduce its debt, Vasudevan told the newspaper.

The project is part of a 42-acre mixed-use development named Metrozone, which also includes retail space and hotel. Blackstone is backing only the residential unit.

Other financial investors in the mixed-use project include HDFC Venture Capital and Urban Infrastructure Venture Capital Fund, which have part exited and will move on completely in the next six months, Vasudevan shared.

For Blackstone, this deal could indicate a move to broaden its real estate play in India, which has been restricted to commercial properties.

Last month it completed a long pending deal where a 50:50 joint venture between southern realty major Embassy Group and Blackstone acquired 60 per cent in Vrindavan TechVillage (VTV), a large business park in Bangalore, from three of the four stakeholders in a deal which valued the property at Rs 1,951 crore ($324 million), including debt. The park has been renamed Embassy TechVillage.

Embassy TechVillage is a 106 acre development and is strategically located at the heart of Bangalore’s IT corridor, on the Outer Ring Road.

Comprising more than 20 million sq ft of commercial space, the Embassy Office Parks portfolio includes business parks in Bangalore such as Embassy Golf Links at Domlur, Embassy Manyata Business Park at Hebbal, as well as Embassy TechZone at Pune.

It had also joined hands with Pune-based Panchshil Realty to buy Express Towers, an iconic office building in Nariman Point, Mumbai’s oldest business district.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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