Blackstone Group LP, a New York-based firm, has invested US$ 3.6 billion as of end-September in India, which is a record for a single year in the country, according to a person who is directly familiar with the development.
Total investments by the group across the private equity (PE) and real estate deals have crossed US$ 12.6 billion. The company plans to surpass the US$ 13 billion mark by December 2019, that will also mark its 13th year of operations in the country.
As of end-September, Blackstone made real estate investments of US$ 6.6 billion, surpassing private equity funding of US$ 6 billion.
“This has been a blockbuster year for Blackstone in India in terms of investments, the highest since it set up operations here in 2006,” said the person cited above, who declined to be named. “There are multiple deals in the pipeline, both in PE and real estate, and it will easily cross $13 billion by the end of this year,” the person said.
Blackstone in the sector of real estate has mostly focused on commercial real estate deals. This consist of nearly US$ 5.2 billion of the total investments.
The company has invested US$ 1.6 billion in the real estate in this year alone. The largest transaction includes the acquisition of the remaining stake in Indiabulls Real Estate Ltd’s (IBREL) commercial real estate portfolio and taking full control for over Rs 4,000 crore (US$ 572.33 million).
Blackstone has played a major role in launching India’s first real estate investment trust (REIT) along with its developer partner Embassy Group earlier this year.
The Blackstone is planning its second REIT with partner K Raheja Corp. in Mumbai after the co-owned Embassy Office Parks REIT with Embassy Group.
The first real estate deal was signed in 2008 by the company, though, it started buying office assets in 2011. Along with taking early bets in office assets, the company also has adopted the partnership route in India, by collaborating with regional developers. Blackstone, on the private equity front, has invested around US$ 2 billion this year in sectors such as education, fashion, packaging and housing finance. It has also bought a majority stake in Aadhar Housing Finance Ltd and acquired a stake in companies such as Aakash Educational Services, Essel Propack Ltd, and Future Lifestyle Fashion.
“Blackstone, like some of its peers such as Warburg Pincus, enjoyed an early mover advantage as an investor in India. However, Blackstone displayed a lot of maturity and patience in the way it deployed capital, despite the fluctuations in real estate and other sectors,” said Mr. Shashank Jain, partner of transaction services at PWC India.
As of 30 June 2019, Blackstone, which set up shop in 1985, has US$ 545 billion assets under management across the globe.