Nexus Malls, the Indian retail portfolio arm of investment firm Blackstone, is in talks to acquire the flagship Delhi Select City Walk mall with the highest sales per square foot in the country, two people aware of the development said.
According to an executive with development knowledge, the acquisition is part of Blackstone Group's broader strategy to launch retail REITs.
The promoter of the select group has not added any shopping center to the portfolio in the 15 years of operation of Select Citywalk and with no plan for expansion, the owners want it to be part of the REIT. A real estate investment trust (REIT) is a publicly-traded company that includes a commercial, residential or retail complex.
There are three REITs for office space in the country, but no REITs are for retail asset.
"The value of the transaction can range from Rs 3,000 crore to Rs 4,000 crore. The rent of the mall is around Rs 1,200 per square feet per month, which is among the highest in the country. Blackstone is trying to enter the NCR market through acquisition and is in talks to acquire projects in Noida as well,” said one of the people mentioned above.
Select Citywalk was conceptualized by Yog Raj Arora, Neeraj Ghei and Arjun Sharma in 2003. When contacted, Arjun Sharma denied any talks with the Blackstone group. Blackstone and Nexus Mall declined to comment.
During Covid, lockdowns, reduced demand coupled with property developers' inability to raise funds or record profits, have forced investors and developers to look for new ways to generate income, including REITs.
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