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Blackstone to pick up stake in two Indiabulls office assets
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Private equity giant Blackstone Group has entered into definitive agreements with listed developer Indiabulls Real Estate Ltd to buy up to 50% stake in two commercial properties in Gurugram. 

In a stock-exchange filing, Indiabulls Real Estate said that it was parting with the stake at a combined enterprise value of Rs 464 crore (around $66 million). The two office assets are in the Udyog Vihar locality and have a leasable area of 784,000 sq-ft,

Indiabulls said the deal was aimed at expanding its joint venture portfolio with Blackstone. 

In March this year, Blackstone had divested 50% stake each in Indiabulls Properties Pvt. Ltd and Indiabulls Real Estate Company at an enterprise value of Rs 9,500 crore (around $1.46 billion) in one of the biggest private equity deals in the Indian real estate sector.

In effect, it shed stakes in Indiabulls Finance Centre and One Indiabulls Centre, two key commercial properties in Mumbai. 

Shortly after that, Blackstone Group agreed to buy a commercial property in Chennai from Indiabulls Real Estate Ltd for Rs 850 crore ($123 million).

In the run-up to the three deals struck this year, Indiabulls Real Estate had in 2017 streamlined its commercial properties and brought all its commercial assets under Indiabulls Commercial Assets Ltd. 

At the time of hiving off that business, the company had said that Indiabulls Commercial will undertake the commercial and leasing business and focus on the annuity business through rental income of its existing portfolio, projects under development and future projects.

Blackstone

Blackstone Group LLP is one of the biggest owners of commercial real estate in India and has been showing no signs of slowing down its recent acquisition spree.

VCCircle recently reported that the US-headquartered private equity giant was homing in on two marquee assets in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), Mumbai’s alternate business district.

Embassy Office Parks REIT, the real estate investment trust platform of Embassy Group and Blackstone Group, filed for an initial public offering (IPO) recently, setting the stage for India's first real estate investment trust listing.

Blackstone Real Estate has so far put in $3.9 billion in office assets across 100 million sq ft while its REIT portfolio with Embassy has a leasable area of 33 million sq ft.

The REIT, set up in March 2017, operates in the top Indian office markets such as Bengaluru, Pune, Mumbai and Noida.

With REITs taking a long time to take off in India, Blackstone earlier tried selling some of its assets in the private market to investors such as The Xander Group and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). It later clubbed these assets for listing under REIT.

VCCircle reported in September that Blackstone Group was in the race to acquire the Mumbai head office of cash-strapped Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd.

Blackstone also holds stake in properties through joint investment platforms with developers including the Embassy Group, Pune-based Panchshil Group, Mumbai’s K Raheja Corp and the Salarpuria Sattva Group of Hyderabad.

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