Blackstone Plans to Purchase Express Tower

The PE giant Blackstone plans to buy Express Tower. The group’s Indian headquarters is in this commercial tower.

Blackstone, having assets worth over $210 billion, is ranked as the largest private equity firm in the world. The group has investments in many countries including India.

Within the last two years, Blackstone has invested almost $1 billion in India. However most of their investments were in the residential realty.

Now with the plans to buy Express Tower, the group has signaled a shift from residential realty to commercial realty. Earlier Blackstone also was reported to be in talks with Mantri Realty for purchasing their business park in Bangalore.

Some persons who are familiar with the deals of Blackstone said that the group has halted their decision to buy out Bangalore Business Park for a while. They indirectly pointed to the group’s plan to buy the Express Tower in Mumbai.

Blackstone has its Indian HQ in the fifth floor of this tower. The estimated value of this 25 storied project is Rs.850 Cr. The total build up area is over four lakh square feet.

Express Tower is a joint venture between ICICI Ventures and Indian Express Group. Though they hold the main shares of the project, there are some other small scale investors in the project. This project was completed over forty years ago.

The PE firm has got a brochure of the project which they have shown to their Indian partner Embassy Group. The officials of the Bangalore based realty firm will visit the project. Only after their visit the deal will be fixed.

Persons with direct knowledge of the development say that the group is moving ahead with their plans to buy this tower. As the tower is close to the Arabian Sea, it provides a very exciting and pleasing view of the sea.

However senior officials of Blackstone declined to comment. ICICI Ventures’ MD and CEO Vishakha Mulye too did not respond to the queries.