Tishmen Speyer, a global real estate investment firm, is in discussions to acquire BPTP Ltd's upcoming IT park in Gurgaon for approximately Rs 400 crore, sources familiar with the development said.

Tishman could be looking at a club deal (leading a consortium of investors) to buy out iPark, located on Gurgaon's NH-8, which is a 6.5 lakh sqft project nearing completion currently. BPTP holds 51% stake in the project, while Merrill Lynch keeps the remaining 49% stake.

Merrill Lynch's investment arm Indopark Investments paid Rs 112 crore for buying into the special purpose vehicle in 2007.

"We are in negotiations with various investors but there is no concluded transaction as yet. I have nothing more to add beyond this," said A C Michael, General Manager of Corporate Communications at BPTP, when contacted by VCCircle. An email to Tishman Speyer MD Avnish Singh remained unanswered at the time of posting this report.

BPTP has filed for a public offering with market regulator SEBI and was planning to go for a Rs 1,500-crore IPO earlier this year. But several developers, along with BPTP, have held on to their IPOs due to the weak market conditions. BPTP plans to use part of the issue proceeds for retiring its debt of Rs 771 crore. The realty firm has also raised funding from Citi Property Investors at both entity and project levels.

Earlier this month, VCCircle reported that Tishman Speyer has roped in Avnish Singh, formerly with GE Real Estate, as Managing Director to spearhead acquisitions in India. The US real estate giant now wants to expand its portfolio through inorganic route even as several realty developers are looking to deleverage through asset sales.

Tishman Speyer's India portfolio already has investments into IT Parks. It has invested in Waverock IT Park in Hyderabad and has signed leases with companies like Accenture and Tata Consultancy Services recently.

While Tishman has an existing portfolio in South India, it is now focusing on acquisitions in the Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.

"We are looking at outright 100% acquisitions as well as joint ventures," Singh had told VCCircle earlier in an interview.

Tishman Speyer earlier had a real estate joint venture in India with ICICI Venture Funds Management, where it invested from a $500-million real estate fund. The New York-based firm later bought the stake of ICICI Venture in TSI Ventures (India) Pvt. Limited.

Recently there have been several majority or controlled transactions in the Indian real estate sector. HCC Real Estate sold a 74% stake to IL&FS Milestone Fund for Rs 575 crore. The wholly-owned subsidiary of HCC developed '247 Park’ in Vikhroli with a built-up area of 1.8

million sq ft and leasable area of 1.1 million sq ft.

Another recent such deal was  JM Financial Property Fund's acquisition of a residential project in Pune for Rs 27 to Rs 28 crore ($6 million) from city-based Marvel Promoters and Developers.

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