India’s top office landlords want to rule on Blackstone warehousing

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Blackstone is already the largest warehousing player in India after IndoSpace. And all this has been done in just one and a half years. Although it has caught deals with some of the most prominent storage players in the country, if it wants to go up the beak order, it has got into the development of the project except for no other option.

The American baseball legend, affectionately nicknamed Sultan by journalists, became the biggest history sheeter-played game from a full-time fielder with Yankees. Ruth, whose career in Major League Baseball spanned from 1914 to 1935, hates rest on her past reputation.

After nearly nine decades and thousands of miles away, something similar is playing out in India. This time, the venue is a board room at Nariman Point in Mumbai, the baseball bat has been converted into a calculator and excel sheet, here the profit runs home. The central character has turned into an alternative investment company, Blackstone.

After becoming the largest office-space landlord with a portfolio of around 125 million square feet (square feet) across 44 assets including offices and retail malls, Private Equity (PE) fund Blackstone is working to replicate its success in the warehousing space in India.

Despite India’s late entry into the super-hot warehousing space, which has, of late, attracted PE dollars with a messianic fervor, Blackstone has quickly made his mark and is trying to catch up aggressively. It is already the biggest player after Indospace. Blackstone did all this in just one and a half years.

Globally, New York-headquartered Blackstone is one of the largest warehousing players, acquiring more than 1.2 billion square feet of storage assets in more than 200 transactions.

It is now following a similar path in India. It has caught one deal after another with some of the country’s most prominent warehousing players.

Blackstone’s warehousing foray into India started with a 50:50 Joint Venture (JV) with The Green base of Mumbai-based Hiranandani Group in late December 2019. The joint venture jointly planned to invest Rs 2,500 crore to build about 12 million sq ft storage space. The idea is to set up an industrial park in 267 acres of land parcel of Green base in Pune; 115 acres in Oragadam, Chennai; 73 acres in Nashik and 25 acres in Durgapur in West Bengal.

By mid-2020, Blackstone announced that it would buy 90% equity for about Rs 1,400 crore in the warehousing vertical of Mumbai-based Allcargo. Cargo has 6 million sq ft developed Grade-A logistics parks in Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune, JNPT (in Mumbai), Hosur, and Goa. The company also has 3 million square feet under development.

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