Global investors queue up for Lodha’s XPeria Mall in Mumbai
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Global investors such as The Xander Group, Blackstone and Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC are in talks to buy real estate developer Lodha Group's mall XPeria in Mumbai, according to a media report.

The deal size would be in the range of Rs 600-700 crore ($93.5-109 million), Mint reported.

The developer has hired a global real estate advisory firm to find a buyer for the retail property. The mall is situated in Palava, a smart city project developed by Lodha Group near Thane.

According to the report, the asset has elicited interest from a lot of marquee investors given its performance. "We are looking at a divestment of a partial stake in the project while we continue to be committed to growing our retail business," a Lodha Group spokesperson told the business newspaper.

Spread over 5 lakh sq ft, the mall houses top brands such as Reebok, Adidas, Allen Solly, Biba, Subway, Moti Mahal and PVR.

The deal comes at a time when global investors have shown renewed interest in taking exposure to retail properties across India. According to a recent JLL India report, new retail space of 6.4 million square feet got completed in 2017, making this year the second-best after 2011 in terms of net absorption.

"International brands have been entering the country and expanding in the past couple of years, and more are expected to look for quality space across the country. Increased private equity interest has been observed in key leasehold retail assets across the country in the past few months. The upcoming REITs platform has attracted the attention of private equity players who are gearing up to expand their retail portfolio across Indian cities," it said.

Blackstone, which has one of the biggest portfolios of commercial property in India, set up a separate platform - Nexus Malls - for retail assets in the country last year. It has by now taken exposure to six-seven assets across different markets.

The Xander Group has a separate vertical - Virtuous Retail - for malls in the country and recently formed a platform with Dutch pension fund APG to pump in more capital in the segment.

Singapore's GIC, which has just completed a mega deal with DLF to buy into its retail arm, has exposure to malls through two assets -- R City and Viviana.

Global investors continue to be bullish on Indian real estate market with some of them planning to enhance exposure to all the segments of the market.

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