Companies

Blackstone eyes big investments in India through Nexus Malls

Rutam Vora Ahmedabad | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on June 23, 2017

Plans to spread presence of malls from existing 4 cities to 10-12 cities in one year



US-headquartered investor group Blackstone Group's mall developer arm in India, Nexus Malls is looking to expand its existing portfolio of malls in four cities to about 10-12 cities. According to estimates, the investment for the acquisitions of additional malls would range between Rs 5,000-7,000 crore (approx US $ 700 million - US $ 1 billion) over the next one year.

Nexus Malls has laid down plans to acquire mall properties at locations including Chandigarh, Indore among other locations in the country over the next one year.

"We have been successful in achieving 15 per cent growth in the business at our existing malls. At Ahmedabad - One mall, we closed last fiscal at Rs 615 crore, with 15 per cent growth and we expect to maintain that for the coming year as well. We plan to increase our existing portfolio by increasing our presence in 10-12 locations across India in the next one year. Each property would require an estimated average investment of around Rs 700 crore," said Jayen Naik, vice president, Malls - Nexus Malls.

Nexus Malls looks to acquire existing single-owner properties and renovate it suitably to have World Class amenities and infrastructure.

In 2016, Blackstone acquired retail major Alpha G:Corp by acquiring two of its malls each in Ahmedabad and Amritsar. Later on, the company acquired mall properties in Pune and Navi Mumbai and went on to set an example of managing malls profitably.

Naik maintained that the cost of operations is equally divided between manpower and the electricity costs. "At Ahmedabad One mall, we are consuming about 800,000 units of electricity per month. Similarly we have about 300 people directly employed including security personnel. But with cleanliness, hygiene, maintenance of building and critical equipment and large parking space, we have been able to maintain and grow footfalls and business," said Naik adding that emphasise is on providing more consumer space in terms of open facade, family rooms, mother rooms and rooms for disabled.

World's largest private equity player Blackstone owns over 1,000 malls across the US, Europe and Asia Pacific. While in India it has created about 3.5 million square-feet of retail shopping mall space spread across four malls each in Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Pune and Navi Mumbai under Nexus Malls.

Naik stated that company is among the firsts to bring several international brands to Indian malls, while it is also looking to encourage local and women-led brands to promote Indian entrepreneurship.

Published on June 23, 2017
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