US based PE investors in FIFC, BKC to sell stake for Rs.1500 crores

A consortium of US-based investors that developed First International Finance Center (FIFC), a landmark commercial building in Mumbai’s financial district, Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), plans to sell its stake in the property for around Rs.1,500 crore, said two people aware of the development.

Around 300,000 sq. ft of the total 657,000 sq. ft office complex is currently owned by Citibank NA. The firm had signed one of the largest commercial deals by value in 2013 by acquiring six floors of the 14-storey building for Rs.985 crore. The group of investors, including US-based Starwood Capital Group, India Property Fund and Urban Infrastructure Real Estate Fund, which owns the remaining portion of the building is in talks with global investors and other potential buyers, according to one of the two people cited above. Both spoke on condition of anonymity.

Global property consultant JLL is the adviser for the sale. Starwood Capital Group, India Property Fund and Urban Infrastructure Real Estate Fund did not respond to emails seeking comment. JLL declined to comment on the deal. “This is the first time that all the investors have decided to sell. Previously it was up for sale floor-wise and not all the private equity investors were selling their stakes,” said the second person, adding that around seven-to-eight global investors are expected to bid for the property.

“Located at BKC and fully constructed, this is a hugely profitable property. The private equity investors are exiting profitably,” he said. Mumbai’s BKC has seen a few large commercial transactions in recent times. Last year, pharmaceutical firm Abbott India Ltd bought a 435,000 sq. feet area at Godrej BKC for Rs.1,479 crore from Godrej Properties Ltd to set up its corporate office.

The commercial property market has seen a pick-up in the past year as demand for office space from multinational, information technology (IT) and pharmaceutical firms and start-ups has risen. Steady lease rentals, high absorption levels, inadequate supply and global investor interest have boosted India’s commercial real estate sector, even as the country’s residential property market remains in a slump.

According to JLL, around 38.4 million sq. ft of so-called ‘Grade A’ or prime office space will be developed in 2016 of which around 33 million sq. ft will be leased out.

Author: Bidya Sapam
Credits Live Mint

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