Blackstone makes first India RE investment

The firm’s real estate arm will invest $18m for a minority stake in Indian construction company.

Blackstone Real Estate Partners, the real estate arm of The Blackstone Group, has agreed to invest approximately $18 million (€11.5 million) for a minority stake, with board representation, in Synergy Property Development Services, an Indian construction firm.

The firm did not reveal the size of the stake, but it said the stake would give it representation on Synergy’s board. The investment is the firm's first pure property development play in India.

Formed in 2003, Synergy currently has more than 500 employees across nine offices in India, with international offices in Dubai and Kuala Lumpur. Synergy is based out of Bangalore and has completed 20 million square feet of real estate, currently managing more than 100 million square feet across various asset classes including office, retail, residential, hotels and hospitals.

Some of its more well known developments include the Medicity in Gurgaon, India’s largest hospital cluster development; Select Citywalk, a retail development in Delhi; the HCC-ICICI Tech Park and Runwal Town Centre in Mumbai; the Park Hyatt hotel in Chennai; and the Manyata Business Park and Embassy Golf Links in Bangalore.

The investment is being made from Blackstone Real Estate Partners International II, which closed on €1.5 billion in the second half of 2005. The firm said that its real estate team has been looking at opportunities in India since that time. Chad Pike, the London-based co-head of Blackstone’s real estate group, said, “In the longer term, we believe there will be attractive real estate investment opportunities that follow from this partnership.”

Blackstone’s Real Estate group has now completed more than 225 investments in North America and Europe with a total transaction value of approximately $132 billion since 1992. Recently the group has expanded to Asia, opening offices in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Mumbai. It also closed on Blackstone Real Estate Partners VI with capital commitments totalling $10.9 billion, creating the largest real estate opportunity fund ever raised.