Blackstone buys Carnival's property for Rs 2,200 crore

The US-based private equity firm Blackstone has bought the commercial property of Mumbai-based multiplex operator Carnival Group in Chandigarh. 

According to a source, the deal was sealed at Rs 2,200 crore. It is one of the largest commercial property deals this year after private equity (PE) firm Xander group acquired 4.6 million square feet (sq ft) special economic zone of Shriram Properties and SUN Apollo, a PE fund manager.

The commercial property of Carnival is around 1.8 million sq ft, including a 1 million sq ft mall, a Hyatt Hotel and some office space.

Carnival bought the property from L&T Realty, the real estate arm of L&T (Larsen and Toubro), in 2015 for Rs 1,785 crore. Carnival made 23 per cent returns from its two-year investment. Now, Blackstone will have a mall portfolio of 4.7 million sq ft and become the No 2 mall owner in the country after Mumbai’s Phoenix Mills. “Though other investors were also in the race, Blackstone was the top contender and closed the deal recently,” the source said.

Carnival sold the property as it was a non-core asset for them, the source said.

When contacted, a spokesperson of Blackstone said, “Blackstone does not comment on media/market speculations.” A mail to Carnival group did not get any response. Blackstone is the largest owner of office space in the country, with a portfolio of 70 million sq ft. It has invested over $3 billion in Indian properties since 2011. Two of its joint ventures, one with Embassy group in Bengaluru and second with Panchshil Realty of Pune, are looking to float real estate investment trusts or Reits.

Early this year, it bought a 15 per cent stake in the rental arm of K Raheja Corp for Rs 1,700 crore. It was also in the race to buy the stake in DLF rental arm DLF Cybercity, which went to Singapore’s GIC.

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