Dutch pension fund manager APG Asset Management has reiterated its commitment to the retail estate space here with an additional investment of USD 175 million (around Rs 1,150 crore) to Virtuous Retail South Asia.
This is the second largest forex inflows into the domestic retail realty space after the Dutch pensions fund major had made the largest investment into Virtuous Retail last November with a commitment of USD 450 million.
Virtuous Retail is the retail realty funding arm of the American private equity major Xander Group's that is focused on the emerging markets.
The USD 175-million fresh equity commitment will augment the existing investment capacity of Virtuous Retail and help its future growth, Virtuous Retail said in a statement today.
"This fresh equity commitment reflects our continued support for growth and our conviction in the Indian retail sector," APG managing director and global head of real assets Patrick Kanters said in the statement.
He said they are looking forward to the coming years as the Virtuous' management team executes the strategic plan.
"Additionally, we are happy to further expand our strategic relationship with Xander in India," Kanters added.
From the USD 450 million fund, Virtuous Retail had acquired an initial portfolio of three retail assets in a transaction valued at Rs 2,000 crore and committed an additional USD 150 million as growth capital, giving it an immediate investment capacity of USD 300 million to be used for acquisitions and new developments.
"Virtuous has expanded significantly across all parameters over the past year. We've grown the portfolio by adding VR Punjab, while VR Chennai is on schedule for opening in the first half of 2018.
"With all our existing centers trading well, our focus will be now on greenfield projects and selective acquisitions that will meet our location and quality parameters," Xander Group founder and chairman of Virtuous Retail Sid Yog said.
This May, Virtuous Retail had acquired a 2-million sqft center in Chandigarh for Rs 700 crore, taking its retail portfolio to 5.5 million sqft across Bengaluru, Surat, Chandigarh and Chennai.
The Chandigarh center has since been rebranded VR Punjab and is undergoing a reconditioning now. VR Punjab, in recognition of its dominant location in the region and positioned as a regional flagship center in the state, helped Virtuous Retail expand its footprint into Northern markets.
"We'll continue to leverage its extensive capabilities across the value chain of development, ownership and operations, so as to grow our portfolio by adding centers in other key markets, including the Delhi-NCR, the Mumbai metropolitan region, Pune, Hyderabad and Kolkata," Virtuous Retail said.
Virtuous managing director and chief investment officer Rohit George said the new equity gives them the enough firepower to add significantly to their already dominant portfolio of shopping centers, integrated with extensive and unique management capability built over the past decade.
"We hope to announce some new developments and acquisitions in the near future that will further expand Virtuous Retail's footprint across our key focus markets in the country," George added.
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