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Lemon Tree Hotels, Warbug Pincus form JV, envisage Rs 3,000 cr investment

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Hospitality firm Lemon Tree Hotels Thursday said it has formed a JV with an arm of global private equity firm Warburg Pincus to develop rental housing projects envisaging investments of Rs 3,000 crore over a period of time.

The JV, in which an affiliate of Warburg Pincus arm and Lemon Tree Hotels will hold 68 per cent and 30 per cent stake respectively, with the balance 2 per cent to be held by Lemon Tree Founder Chairman and MD Patanjali Keswani, plans to develop a platform that would provide affordable and conveniently located co-living spaces for students and young professionals, the company said in a statement.

The JV partners will initially invest Rs 1,500 crore in equity over a period of time followed by an additional infusion of Rs 1,500 crore in equity at the option of the partners, it added.

The investment will be made to "develop rental housing projects through a combination of greenfield purpose-built properties, refurbishment of existing under-managed/stressed commercial and residential assets taken on lease/acquisition basis as well as management of existing for-rent accommodation projects," Lemon Tree Hotels said.

The JV marks company's entry into an adjacent but new business segment focusing on the development of institutional-grade rental housing accommodation serving both students and young working professionals across major educational clusters and key office markets in India, it added.

"Our aim is to operate 1 lakh beds in next 7 years," Keswani told PTI.

Lemon Tree Hotels is delighted to once again partner with Warburg Pincus at an early stage of this exciting new business opportunity, which will allow the company to move into a segment which is nascent but closely aligned to its existing target customers and which is expected to see tremendous growth, going forward, he said in a statement.

Driven by the lack of quality accommodation and high rental/capital costs across key Indian cities relative to salary levels, the rise of co-living spaces is a part of the evolution of the sharing economy that will continue to gain significant traction, he added.

"We look forward to working closely with Warburg Pincus and leveraging their successful experience in helping create market leading platforms in the shared accommodation space in other parts of Asia," Keswani said.

Expressing similar views, Warburg Pincus MD Anish Saraf said: "We are excited to partner for a second time with Patu and his team and believe that this JV is well-positioned to become a leading for-rent accommodation provider in India, given its access to significant capital as well as support from Lemon Tree Hotel's proven design/development capability and existing on-ground infrastructure across the country."

Shares of Lemon Tree Hotels closed on Rs 68.65, up 0.44 per cent from the previous close.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, December 27 2018. 19:55 IST
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