Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC is close to picking up a majority stake in Hong Kong-listed logistics real estate platform ESR’s logistics and warehousing assets in India in a deal valued at around $400 million, sources said.
ESR India, which is an equal joint venture between APAC-focused ESR group and Allianz Real Estate, has eight assets in India, occupying 388 acres with a gross floor area of 10 million square feet, of which 6 msf is operational. The two global companies had set up the venture in 2018 with a commitment to invest about $1 billion in India, on setting up industrial parks and warehouses across the country.
Allianz RE is likely to sell its entire stake or a major portion of it in the platform, while ESR would sell35-40 per cent stake, sources said.
There were no responses from GIC and ESR India to e-mails sent to them seeking a clarification on the deal.
Several leading private equity firms are in the race to acquire the assets, including US-based Blackstone Inc, which is learnt to have decided not to go ahead with the acquisition.
ESR India has four assets in Pune (two in Chakan, two in Talegaon), and one each in Gurugram (Sohna), Mumbai (Bhiwandi), Chennai (Oragadam) and Kolkata (Uluberia). The industrial park in Uluberia is one of its largest, set up on a 94-acre land parcel with a total leasable area of 2.3 msf.
GIC and ESR have an existing joint venture in India, set up in November 2022 to acquire income-producing industrial and logistics assets in the country, with an investment of $600 million. This is an extension of an existing partnership forged in 2020. Sources said GIC’s acquisition in the current transaction in the making would reinforce the existing relationship between the two companies.
The ESR Group is APAC’s largest asset manager in the logistics and warehousing segment, with $147 billion in assets under management and operations across 128 countries. The group is backed by investors such as Warburg Pincus, APG, CPPIB, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley AIP, PGGM, Allianz, Ping An and SK Holdings.
The total stock of warehousing space across eight major cities in India stands at 344 msf ,which is projected to grow to 516 msf by 2026, according to JLL India.