Allianz RE commits $150m to Indian office development platform

Residential and commercial buildings stand in Mumbai, India, on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

Allianz Real Estate, the property investment arm of German insurer Allianz, has committed $150 million to a closed-end office development platform managed by India’s Godrej Group.

The platform, Godrej BTC (GBTC I), targets the development of premium Grade-A offices in tier-one cities in India, per an announcement on Tuesday.

Along with Allianz, the other two backers of the $450-million platform are Godrej and European pension manager APG Asset Management. The three will own one-third of the office development platform while Godrej Fund Management will act as the investment manager, Allianz said.

GBTC I currently has two developments in its kitty, one each in Mumbai and Gurgaon, totalling 2 million square feet. It has a current pipeline of 1.3 million square feet in Bengaluru.

For Allianz, the investment in GBTC I is part of its strategy to allocate 50-60 per cent of its real estate exposure within Asia-Pacific to fast-growing markets such as China and India.

In 2017, the firm made its first investment in India by establishing an office investment platform with Shapoorji Pallonji. Last year, it backed a logistics development venture with ESR.

“Strong demographic trends and improving transparency are supporting real estate occupier as well as investor demand, in particular, in the office sector, which is ideal for long-term institutional investors such as Allianz,” said Rushabh Desai, Asia-Pacific CEO of Allianz Real Estate.

Allen & Gledhill, Khaitan & Co, Ernst & Young and AECOM acted as advisors to Allianz.