Invests Rs 300 cr in Bangalore's Mantri Developers

Our Bureau

Mumbai, March 1

The US-headquartered investment bank major Morgan Stanley has forayed into India's booming real estate sector by investing Rs 300 crore (around $68 million) in Mantri Developers Pvt Ltd, a Bangalore-based real estate developer.

The company made the investment through its real estate investment arm Morgan Stanley Real Estate.

Investment bank JM Morgan Stanley advised Morgan Stanley on the transaction, officials said. This is the first real estate investment by Morgan Stanley after the Government opened up foreign investment in development and construction of real estate projects last year, they said.

Mantri Developers, which was founded in 1999 by Mr Sushil Mantri, is in the real estate development business focusing on residential, office and retail projects.

"We are pleased to be announcing our first real estate investment in India," said Mr Sonny Kalsi, Managing Director and Global Head of Morgan Stanley Real Estate, in a press release here on Wednesday.

"We believe India presents an extremely compelling investment story and expect to be a long-term investor in the real estate sector. The residential market is attractive because of rapid urbanisation, the availability of housing finance and the strong growth of the consumer segment."

"We are excited to be partnering with Morgan Stanley to grow our residential business," said Mr Mantri, Managing Director and founder of MDPL.

"We plan to utilize our partner's relationships and global platform to strategically expand our business by developing other real estate asset types," he said.

Mr Zain Fancy, Executive Director and Head of Morgan Stanley Real Estate in Asia-Pacific, said Mantri Developers represents an opportunity to partner with an outstanding management team and is an organisation with strong development capabilities and a recognised brand name to capitalise on this opportunity.

The Union Government last year liberalised foreign investment in the development and construction of real estate projects subject to compliance with certain conditions. Kotak Investment Bank advised Mantri Developers on the transaction.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 2, 2006)
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