Publicly listed developer The Phoenix Mills and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) have struck a joint venture to develop a mall in the Alipore area of Kolkata, the companies said in a statement.
CPPIB will invest roughly Rs 560 crore ($77.4 million) in tranches for an ultimate equity stake of 49%.
Scheduled to be completed by the second half of 2024, the retail centre will have a leasable area of about a million square feet.
“We are pleased to grow our strategic relationship with CPPIB to establish our footprint in eastern India. With this asset, we are well on track to more than double our operational retail portfolio by 2024,” said Atul Ruia, chairman of The Phoenix Mills.
“Alipore, Kolkata is a premium neighbourhood and the site is strategically located, surrounded by a dense catchment of residential and office spaces. Our mall will be designed by international architects with large and modern open public spaces that will be integral to the customer experience in Kolkata’s largest retail centre,” said Shishir Shrivastava, managing director of The Phoenix Mills.
“We are pleased to further expand our relationship with The Phoenix Mills to develop and own a premium retail centre in an underserved market. India is one of the most important markets for us in Asia Pacific and a critical part of our long-term strategy,” said Hari Krishna, managing director, real estate – India, CPPIB.
With this investment, CPPIB’s equity commitment to multiple ventures with The Phoenix Mills amounts to over Rs 2,620 crore.
The statement said that The Phoenix Mills and CPPIB are also extending their commitments to their joint venture Island Star Mall Developers Pvt Ltd. Both the parties have agreed to invest collectively up to Rs 800 crore (C$133 million) into ISMDPL in tranches as required, in the ratio of their respective shareholdings.
Back in 2017, the duo had formed ISMDPL to develop, own and operate retail-led, mixed-use developments across India. Phoenix Marketcity in Whitefield Bangalore served as the seed asset for the alliance.
ISMDPL also owns – and is currently developing – three retail-led, mixed-use developments at Wakad Pune, Hebbal Bangalore and Indore.
The latest development marks a bold move by the developer-investor duo given the state of affairs in the retail sector. The pandemic has wreaked havoc across sectors with hospitality, retail and aviation getting hit the most.
In the real estate space, CPPIB recently entered into a joint venture with RMZ Corp to develop and hold commercial office space in Chennai and Hyderabad, with an allocation of Rs 1,500 crore equity capital for 50% ownership.
In the recent past, CPPIB committed up to $125 million as a cornerstone investor to Baring Private Equity Asia’s India Credit Fund III, and up to $125 million to Credit Fund III overflow vehicle.
It also acquired an additional 15.9% of the total units in IndInfravit Trust through two transactions, increasing its stake to 43.8%.
CPPIB has also invested $150 million in the National Stock Exchange.