Retail realty PE deals look promising in 2021: Anarock

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on January 28, 2021

Most of the new supply of malls that failed to be delivered in 2020 has spilled over to 2021

Indian retail was one of the worst-affected due to Covid-19, which in turn impacted private equity (PE) investments into the sector in 2020. However, the year 2021 looks promising with many PE investment deals likely in the sector during the year, according to research firm Anarock Capital.

The year was almost dry for the retail sector in 2020 as against 2019 when it received total inflows of $968 million – the highest between 2015 and 2020.

The data on malls deployment in 2020 also reflects the sombre funding scenario, with just five new malls getting added during the year. Pre-Covid-19 data indicated that 54 new malls were to hit the market in 2020. Most of this new supply that failed to be delivered in 2020 has spilled over to 2021, Shobhit Agarwal, MD & CEO, Anarock, said in a release.

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Spillover deals

In 2020, Brookfield Asset Management concluded a portfolio deal of nearly $2 billion into RMZ Corp (approximately 12.5 million sq. ft. of its total real estate assets) including RMZ Galleria Mall. This was tagged as the largest-ever deal in Indian real estate. Another portfolio deal of $1.5 billion between Blackstone and Prestige was expected to get closed in December 2020, but its closure is now pushed to first quarter 2021.

While there are various PE investors considering the retail space presently, meaningful investments are likely to take place only once the sector shows signs of bouncing back.

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2021 does look promising with deals like Blackstone to invest into Prestige Group as part of a portfolio deal covering 8 malls; GIC is looking to invest in Phoenix Mills in 2021; Warburg-Runwal platform is evaluating various assets in the retail space and Lakeshore is also evaluating some retail assets, Agarwal said.

Data indicates that between 2015 and 2019, the retail real estate saw a total of $2.86 billion in PE investments. Of this, 2019 was the best at about $968 million, followed by 2017 which saw total inflows of over $890 million.

Among the top cities, NCR saw the maximum investments of around $755 million between 2015 and 2019, followed by MMR with $410 million, the release said.

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Published on January 28, 2021
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