Reliance Centre: Brookfield, Varde Partners among firms in the race to acquire lease

Venkatesh Ganesh, Surabhi Mumbai | Updated on August 25, 2020

Anil Ambani

YES Bank had taken possession of Reliance Centre, the headquarters of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group companies, for non-payment of dues worth ₹2,892 crore

Half-a-dozen bidders have shown interest in acquiring the long-term lease of Reliance Centre, the headquarters of erstwhile Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) companies, in Santacruz, Mumbai.

According to real estate broking sources, some of the marquee bidders include Brookfield, Varde Partners, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Mapletree Investments. “Due diligence is under way and advisers are being appointed by these bidders to meet the September-end timeline,” said a source in the know.

Non-payment of dues

Private sector lender YES Bank had taken possession of Reliance Centre for non-payment of dues worth ₹2,892 crore, owed by Reliance Infrastructure. The office building is spread over a 21,432.28 sq metre plot in Santacruz.

The action was taken by the lender under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFESI) Act.

Varde Partners declined to comment. Emails sent to Brookfield, ADIA and Mapletree Investments did not elicit any response. The total lease value based on current rentals in the Bandra Kurla Complex area for 30 years is likely to be around ₹5,000 crore, industry watchers said.

According to sources, although YES Bank has taken possession of the property, the bidding process and lease negotiations are being led by Reliance group. YES Bank and the ADAG group declined to comment.

Rising investments

Alternative asset investment firms have been making a spate of investments in India, before Covid-19. Värde Partners has invested around $1 billion in India.

In January, Värde Partners acquired Lodha Excelus, New Cuffe Parade (LNCP), a 827,000 sq. ft. office space spread over 29 floors, from the Lodha Group. Similarly, Canadian asset manager Brookfield, which owns and operates 22 million square feet of office properties in India, plans to launch an IPO of its India real estate investment trust (REIT) with an intent to raise at least $500 million. “By acquiring this asset, they can look at adding this to their REIT portfolio,” said an analyst.

Published on August 24, 2020

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