Mistry to launch real estate fund in Singapore

Tags: News

To unlock Tata Realty investment in IT parks and road projects

The $100 billion Tata group, now headed by real estate and construction baron Cyrus Mistry, plans to float a real estate investment trust or a business trust in Singapore.

The idea is to unlock a closely held subsidiary’s investment in projects such as IT parks, malls and roads already built or under construction assets such as IT parks, malls and road projects.

The subsidiary, Tata Realty & Infrastructure (TRIL), also intends to buy some smaller IT parks in India.

“We plan to float a real estate investment trust (REIT) in Singapore which will pool our completed IT parks… The REIT will helps us unlock capital from built and leased out assets and re-deploy it for infrastructure projects such as the Mumbai trans-harbour link which we have bid for,” a top official of the subsidiary told Financial Chronicle.

For the Mumbai harbour link, TRIL has formed an equal partnership with the Italy-headquartered, ¤8 billion Atlantia, one of the world’s largest operators of motorway infrastructure, and the ¤36.95 billion Vinci of France, a big construction company.

If the consortium manages to win the Mumbai bid, the planned REIT will help fund the equity contribution required for the project without a big cash infusion from Tata Sons, the parent firm.

The IT parks include Chennai’s Ramanujam IT special economic zone (SEZ) which plans a processing zone of 3.5 million sq ft of built-up area and a non-processing zone consisting of Cambridge Green a high-end residential enclave, a retail mall, service apartments and an international convention centre.

In March 2011, the company purchased a 700,000 sq ft greenfield IT park from Kotak India Real Estate Fund I for Rs 525 crore. It also plans to build a 600,000 sq ft IT park in Bangalore.

At the Ramanujam IT city 1.2 million sq ft of space has already been leased out to firms including HCL, Cognizant and TCS. In all 2.8 million sq ft will be ready for occupation by March.

Besides, the company plans to build mixed-use 1.3 million sq ft of space for retail and residential use, the Tata Centre in Bangalore, and is in the process of acquiring three toll road projects at a cost of Rs 600 crore.

“We are evaluating whether to float an REIT or a business trust in Singapore. A business trust will allow us to have a mix of both completed and leased assets as well as under development assets. An REIT can only be for completed assets such as toll roads and leased office space,” said the TRIL official.

If the company goes in for a business trust it could potentially fold in its 700,000 sq ft Trilium mall in Amritsar; the under construction Tritvam residential complex in Kochi and Capital Height, its 10 acre integrated residential and retail complex.

It also plans to pool in its subsidiary TRIL Roads that has been awarded the Rs 1,371 crore project of four-laning a 110 km stretch of the Pune-Solapur highway.

“We will take a call on which of the two routes to adopt depending on the valuation and advice from merchant bankers,” said the TRIL official. The business trust will target investors who are keen to have a rental base and a development play that generates capital appreciation albeit at a slightly higher risk of project execution.

The REIT, on the other hand, will target investors such as sovereign wealth funds and pension funds interested in a steady rental income.

ypitalwalla@mydigitalfc.com

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