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Portman seeks to raise $300 million to invest in Indian real estate

Portman has deployed $6 billion of funds in real estate, developed over 50 million square feet all over the world

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The Atlanta, US-based realty developer-cum-investor Holdings seeks to raise upto $300 million (Rs 1590 crore) of third party to invest in Indian real estate, said its chief executive today.

This amount is besides the money Portman will continue to invest in the Indian properties, said Ambrish Baisiwala, chief executive officer, Portman Holdings.

Portman is looking to invest in the projects of its current partner, Pune-based Kolte Patil Developers and other Indian realtors, Baisiwala said. Portman holds equal stake in two of Kolte Patil’s projects in Pune, which are valued at $160 million.

Portman, set up over 61 years ago, has deployed $6 billion of funds in and developed over 50 million square feet all over the world.

Portman will focus on investing in residential, mixed use and non-IT projects in the country and focus on cities such as NCR, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Chennai among others, he said.

The company would like to partner with developers developing projects of 1 million sq ft and depending on cities such as Mumbai, it could do smaller ones also, Baisiwala said.

"We will also invest in hotel projects if we find right opportunity. We can do that even with Kolte Patil," he said. Portman has developed 70,000 hotel rooms across US and other countries.

“India has attractive property market and we are buliish on its growth. We would like to match what buyers are looking for,” he said.

Portman had set up its base in India in 1996 and through its architecture and design arms did venture with Taj Hotels and HDFC in the past.

Though global investors such as Blackstone, Xander are getting aggressive in Indian real estate, overall private equity deals in real estate are declining. The private equity flow to the realty sector has dropped 15 per cent in the first three quarters of 2012, from the same period last year, on the back of regulatory and concerns, said a report by Cushman and Wakefield, an international consultancy.

“The fall in number of deals was mainly due to a lot of concerns on the government policy front coupled with an uncertain investment scenario, valuation and continued focus on exits for some vintage funds”, said Sanjay Dutt, executive managing director - South Asia, Cushman & Wakefield in a statement released on Monday.

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