Trikona’s big month

The India-focused private equity real estate fund has completed three projects in the last month, raising their total investment in property on the subcontinent to $1 billion. By Aaron Lovell.

It’s been a big month for private equity real estate firm Trikona Capital. The Mumbai- and New York-based firm recently announced three new projects in India, including two townships projects near Mumbai and an IT park in Greater Noida.

Last week, Aashish Kalra, managing director and co-founder of Trikona, told PEO’s sister publication Private Equity Real Estate that the firm has completed a total of three deals and has around $1 billion in projects under development in the country.

Trikona is the asset manager for Trinity Capital, a fund listed on the AIM in London, which raised £250 million earlier this year from a group of institutional investors.

Trikona’s most recent project is a township development in Thane, 40 kilometers from the city center of Mumbai. Called Rustomjee’s Township, the project is a joint venture with Nanpada-based developer Kapstone Constructions.

Trikona is providing £10.6 million for a 16 percent stake in the development. The firm has the option to increase its investment by £3.5 million for a 21 percent share.

“The rapid urbanization of India requires integrated townships as they are convenient and offer a better quality of life,” Kalra said in a statement. “Rustomjee’s Township also has the added advantage of being located close to Mumbai and is ideally connected to Mumbai by road and rail.”

According to the release, Rustomjee will have more than 7 million square feet of residential, commercial and IT space, as well as a mall, school, medical facilities and recreation area. Construction is expected to beginning in December of this year. 

Last week, the firm has also acquired a stake in an IT park in Greater Noida for £215 million, with Trinity committing £28.3 million to the project. The remainder of the project will be financed via debt and pre-construction sales. According to the firm, the development will include 5.2 million square feet of IT offices, 894,000 square feet of residential space, 612,000 square feet of hotel space and 477,000 square feet of retail space.

“Great Noida is probably the only place in India today where the infrastructure is pre-provided,” Kalra says. “Greater Noida is actually making an effort to get these people there.”

Kalra adds that the deal was attractive because all of the land being developed for the IT district has been acquired. “What we like here is that it is not replicable,” he says. “The government is not going to provide these 600 acres again.”

Earlier in October, Trikona announced a residential project in Worli, Mumbai. The fund is investing £11.6 million in the project, which is valued at £56 million. The transaction is a partnership with Mumbai-based developer Lokhandwala Builders and will be comprised of 1.4 million square feet of residential space.

Kalra says the project fits in with the government’s campaign to redevelop the island city. “The only way you can do this is by rehabilitating the city centers,” he says.

These three  deals come on the heels of the firm’s first investment. In August, the firm announced it was investing $100 million alongside investment bank IL&FS to develop Indian infrastructure. “The single most important bottleneck is infrastructure,” Kalra says, adding that the land around the roads and ports is oftentimes ripe for development. 

Kalra says that the firm is looking to chose partners that will grow along with the fund “If I do this deal, what else can I do on the back of that transaction?” he asks. “It’s sort of like the traditional venture capital fund, trying to help people become institutional.”

Trikona has offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, New York and London. Kalra co-founded the firm with Rak Chugh earlier this year.