At a time when foreign private equity (PE) investors are a bit wary of the Indian property market, Chicago-based PE real estate investment firm Walton Street Capital is making a comeback.
In its second India outing, Walton has planned to invest at least Rs 100 crore in a Supertech project at Noida, near Delhi. Walton would get a 20 per cent stake in the residential towers of Supertech’s mixed use development project, Supernova. The total cost of the Supernova project is estimated at Rs 3,000 crore, while the cost of the residential towers, Nova East and Nova West, will be around Rs 500 crore.
Walton's India arm had earlier planned to invest $1 billion (around Rs 5,000 crore) in the country's real estate sector, but the plan was shelved due to the global economic crisis. Now, there is talk of the company reviving its its plans.
Walton had for the first time entered India in 2007, investing Rs 100 crore in a Kolkata project of Shriram Properties, the Chennai-based realtor. It had also taken stake of 33 per cent in a special purpose vehicle of the Kolkata project, while Starwood Capital had invested another 33 per cent. However, the project failed to take off and in 2011, Walton and Starwood got enterprise-level stakes in Shriram Properties.
Supertech’s chairman and managing director, R K Arora, confirmed they had got a letter of intent from Walton and documentation was in process. Walton did not respond to a questionnaire sent by Business Standard on the matter.
Supertech has also struck a franchise deal with Starwood Hotels and Resorts for a Le Meridien Hotel in the same mixed use development project. “Starwood is not investing in the project, but will run the hotel with its management team,” said Arora.
Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investment is also learnt to be investing Rs 500 crore in another Supertech project in Noida, called Cape Town. The firm is expected to take 20 per cent in the entire project. Only last month, Morgan Stanley revived its investment in the country after a four-year hiatus, by investing nearly Rs 450 crore in a Mumbai-based project.