The acquisition of the operational commercial building is also the first largest real estate transaction of this year in the country.
In June, ET was first to report that Lake Shore India Advisory was in advanced talks to acquire the nearly 2 million square foot mall.
The deal is significant as it indicates continued global investor interest in Indian mall development and confidence that retail consumption will rebound once the Covid-19 pandemic is over.
Viviana Mall occupies 13 acres of land on Thane’s Pokhran Road and has a total leasable area of 1.7 million square feet. It houses one of the largest multiplexes with 14 screens, including an Imax experience.
“Lake Shore India’s subsidiary, Salsette Developers, is acquiring the property from Sheth Developers & Realtors (India) which owns and operates Viviana Malls. Salsette Developers is financing the acquisition with equity and debt, including non-convertible debentures ( NCD),” said one of the people quoted above.
Salsette Developers raised Rs 450 crore by issuing NCDs on Tuesday, data from the NSDL’s Debt Trade Benchmark for Foreign Portfolio Investors (REITs) investments in such instruments showed.
Email queries from ET to Lake Shore India, GIC went unanswered. Transaction advisor JLL India declined to comment on the story.
“As a company striving to engage and generate value for our investors, we are constantly seeking opportunities that would drive both excellence and returns for investors and clients. However, we categorically deny this. current speculation coming from the markets. We would be happy to announce any such developments in the near future,” said a spokesperson for Viviana Mall.
The mall is so far jointly owned by the Ashwin Sheth Group with a 51% stake and the balance with GIC. Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund had acquired a stake in this commercial property from the Sheth Group in early 2016 at a valuation of Rs 900 crore. The two entities have now sold all of their respective stakes to Lakeshore India.
ET had earlier reported that institutional investors including Blackstone Group, Warburg Pincus and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) through their joint platforms or Indian partners, except of Lake Shore, had expressed an interest in reclaiming the property.
With increased residential development in and around Thane, the city has also become a major hub for retail consumption, sparking renewed interest among major commercial property developers.
The retail arm of private equity group Xander, Virtuous Retail South Asia (VRSA), has acquired a nearly 20-acre plot of land in Thane from textile giant Raymond for $100 million, or more than Rs 710 crore. It plans to spend another $240 million, or more than Rs 1,700 crore, to build the site, bringing its total investment to more than Rs 2,400 crore.
VRSA plans to construct a 3.7 million square foot mixed-use downtown project anchored by a 2.4 million square foot flagship VR retail development. The proposed 2.4 million square foot flagship VR mall will offer retail, dining, lifestyle and entertainment options.
Ashwin Sheth Group is also seeking to establish a strategic platform to develop and operate shopping centers across the country. In December, the developer entered into a joint venture with Nagpur-based Sethi Group to develop a 1 million square foot shopping mall, Viviana Nagpur, in the southwestern region of the city near Pratap Nagar.
Recently, GIC also entered into a strategic partnership with The Phoenix Mills to create a joint venture to develop, own and operate retail-focused mixed-use developments in India.
In 2019, Lake Shore bought a majority stake in a shopping mall project in Hyderabad from the city-based Phoenix Group for around Rs 1,000 crore including construction finance.