Virtuous Retail South Asia Pte. Ltd, a joint venture between alternative investments firm The Xander Group Inc. and Dutch pension fund APG, has bought a retail property in Mohali, Punjab for Rs 700 crore ($109 million) including debt from SUN-Apollo Real Estate Fund.
The North Country Mall is the first acquisition of Virtuous Retail in North India. The mall is built on 22 acres of land and has a leasable area of 1 million sq ft, Virtuous Retail said in a statement. Its anchor brands include H&M, Zara, PVR, Forever 21, Westside, Lifestyle, Central and Home Centre.
It has an additional 600,000 sq ft that will be leased out to retail brands, food and beverage companies and entertainment facilities.
This is the second transaction in as many days that the Xander-APG platform has struck. On Tuesday, it said it agreed to buy a special economic zone in Chennai from realty firm Shriram Group for Rs 1,250 crore ($190 million) and committed another Rs 1,040 crore to expand the project.
SUN-Apollo is a joint venture between the Khemka family-promoted SUN group and AREA Property Partners, which was previously called Apollo Real Estate Advisors.
Virtuous Retail owns assets in Chennai, Surat and Bangalore under the VR brand. The Mohali mall will soon be rebranded as a VR centre. The company’s India retail portfolio now stands at 5.5 million sq ft.
“The acquisition expands our footprint into North India, has numerous portfolio synergies, and is value accretive to our stakeholders, including retail partners and investors,” said Sid Yog, chairman, Virtuous Retail.
Rohit George, executive managing director at Virtuous Retail, said the latest acquisition, combined with VR Chennai, enables the company to simultaneously offer retailers, two retail properties in key metropolitan markets, at a time when quality retail space is scarce.
Xander had formed the joint venture with APG late last year. APG had bought three exiting assets of the company for $300 million and committed an additional $150 million as equity capital.
APG contributed 77% of equity investment to the joint venture and Xander the remaining.