Phoenix & CPPIB may jointly develop malls in India

BENGALURU | MUMBAI: Mall developer The Phoenix Mills is in talks with Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) to form a $300-million joint platform to buy land parcels and develop malls across the country, said multiple persons familiar with the development.

“Both Phoenix and CPPIB are keen to acquire mall assets across major cities. They plan to bring Phoenix’s existing mall projects under this platform too. However, its mall in Lower Parel may be kept out of it,” said one of the person quoted above. The developer is looking to leverage its brand Phoenix Marketcity to become a pan-India mall developer and operator given the success of its malls in Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru and Chennai.

As a pre-cursor to the formation of the said platform, the company is in the process to buy out investors in some of the existing properties. “Malls are capital-intensive projects so promoters are actively looking to infuse funds to expand presence by acquiring greenfield and brownfield projects,” said another person aware of the proposed transaction. Listed firm, The Phoenix Mills owns mall projects under Phoenix Marketcity brand. It runs its flagship High Street Phoenix and luxury mall Palladium in Mumbai, which are counted among the top revenue-making malls in the country.

The Mumbai-headquartered group also owns four Marketcity projects in Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru and Chennai. “We are currently operating over 6 million sq ft retail space across the country. We would like to retain our top position in this segment and therefore are looking at greenfield and brownfield projects. To support this, we have been evaluating various fund raising avenues,” Shishir Shrivastava, joint managing director of The Phoenix Mills, told media. However, he declined to comment on talks for a platform with CPPIB.

An email query to CPPIB remained unanswered until the time of going to press.

The company is looking to buy out its investors in projects and may consider listing a real estate investment trust for its retail properties, said one of the persons mentioned above.

credits ET Realty

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