India: Blackstone picks up majority stake in Forum Group mall for $39m

Photo: Bloomberg

Global private equity major Blackstone Group has acquired a majority stake of 75 per cent Esplanade Mall by Forum Group in Bhubaneswar, in Odisha for Rs 2.5 billion ($39 million), according to a Business Standard report quoting sources.

According to the news report, Forum Group is also in talks with Blackstone to sell stake in more of its retail projects.

“We will be delivering roughly one million square feet of retail infrastructure development every year for the next three years. We expect the joint platform with Blackstone will acquire more such properties in the future,” Vidyut Saraf, deputy managing director, Forum Group told the news paper.

At present, Forum Group has three operational malls, two in West Bengal and one in Bhubaneswar, totaling about 1.2 million square feet of developed area.

Blackstone Group has been actively increasing its present in the Indian retail space through the buyout of a number of shopping malls. Last year, it was reportedly in the race to acquire Mumbai’s XPeria Mall in Palava City, developed by Lodha Developers.

In 2016, it acquired a 50 per cent stake in Westend Mall in Pune, which houses brands such as Cinepolis, H&M, Max, Shoppers Stop and Starbucks. It had also acquired L&T Seawoods Mall in Navi Mumbai from L&T Realty. It also acquired Elante mall from the Carnival Group in Chandigarh that year

In 2015, it bought two AlphaOne malls in Amritsar and Ahmedabad from Alpha G:Corp.

According to a Cushman and Wakefield report, after a prolonged period of slow growth, the brick and mortar retail space regained momentum last year. According to estimates in the report, India is likely to see close to 34 new malls by 2020 in the top eight cities. Totalling approximately 13.6 million sq. feet, the new supply will add approximately 20% to the total available mall inventory in these cities.

Blackstone opened its real estate division in India in 2007, and has invested about $3 billion in real estate projects in India across 20 transactions and manages the largest portfolio of office parks in India.

Also Read:

India: Blackstone, GIC and Xander in race to buy Lodha’s XPeria Mall

India: Blackstone Group puts three land assets for sale

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.