Blackstone part-exits project management firm Synergy

Blackstone Group LP, the world's largest alternative investments asset manager, has part-exited its seven-year-old investment in project management consultancy Synergy Property Development Services Pvt Ltd.

Blackstone said in a statement it has sold half of its 35 per cent stake in Synergy to Sankey Prasad, chairman and managing director of the Bangalore-based firm. It didn’t disclose the deal value.

With the buyback, promoters now own a majority stake in the company.

Blackstone Real Estate Partners, an affiliate of the New York-based PE giant, had put in Rs 56 crore for a minority stake in the company in 2008.

Tuhin Parikh, senior managing director, Blackstone, said that during the course of the PE firm’s investment, Synergy delivered 62 million sq ft across projects and expanded operations from three countries to 10.

Synergy started with project management consultancy business in 2003 and later diversified into design services and design and build solutions. It claims to have delivered more than 100 million sq ft of built-up space across commercial, retail, healthcare, hospitality and residential verticals.

During the investment tenure of Blackstone, Synergy delivered 62 million sq ft and grew its operations from three countries to 10, the report said citing Tuhin Parikh, senior managing director for real estate at the PE firm.

Synergy was Blackstone's first investment in India. The PE firm has since then invested aggressively across commercial real estate by acquiring marquee properties. It now owns more than 30 million sq ft commercial assets in major Indian cities and has left big developers such as DLF Ltd behind in the race.

People aware of the developments say the company is also looking at creating a portfolio of retail assets in the country. As reported by VCCircle, it was looking to acquire north India-based developer Alpha G:Corp, which has a couple of malls in its kitty apart from residential developments.

VCCircle also reported that the firm, along with Singapore’s Sovereign wealth fund GIC, is a frontrunner in discussions for the sale of a 40 per cent stake by DLF promoters in the rental arm of the company.

Recently, Blackstone hit final close of its latest real estate global fund – Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII — at $15.8 billion. Its initial investments from the fund have gone toward acquiring significant real estate assets from General Electric Capital Corporation and Strategic Hotels, a publicly traded real estate investment trust.

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