Global investment major Blackstone Group has set up a separate India-dedicated platform, Horizon Industrial Parks, to house its 24 million sq ft logistics and warehousing assets and support its rapidly expanding logistics footprint across the country.
The new platform comprises 16 modern Grade A logistics and warehousing assets, including under-development projects, and is one of the largest logistics portfolios in India.
Horizon Industrial Parks will be owned and managed by Blackstone real estate funds.
The US private equity major has created the platform through a number of recent key acquisitions, including Embassy Industrial Parks, TARC, and Allcargo Logistics, with over half a billion in investments.
The firm’s logistics portfolio is spread across major Indian cities, including Bangalore, Delhi-NCR, Pune, and Hyderabad, and is anchored by tenants in fast-growing sectors such as e-commerce, retail, auto and logistics.
“Currently, the logistics, warehousing and industrial space markets are at a nascent stage in India. The opportunity is huge, ” Asheesh Mohta, Head of Real Estate Acquisitions in India for Blackstone, told ET. “We are excited to continue expanding our logistics presence in India’s prime urban centers, bringing our global experience in logistics and operating expertise to build out a full-service platform with exceptional management capabilities.”
The firm has roped in industry veteran Rahul Pandit to lead its recently created, over 200-employee team to operate this business. In India, Blackstone also owns Nucleus Office Parks and Nexus Malls – platforms for the firm’s expansive office and retail portfolios, respectively.
“The platform, backed by Blackstone’s global intellectual capital and scale, combined with local partnership opportunities, will enable us to rapidly accelerate growth and deliver benchmark quality to our customers, while sustainably contributing to the communities we serve,” said Rahul Pandit, Chief Executive Officer, Horizon Industrial Parks.
The platform will act as the holding company for Blackstone’s entire logistics and industrial parks-related assets and alliances.
Logistics is one of the biggest asset classes for Blackstone globally as it is the largest owner of warehousing spaces. It has so far invested over $55 billion in this segment and owns more than 575 million sq ft of warehouse space world-wide.
Being one of the largest owners of warehousing spaces globally, the group is now moving swiftly to create a large portfolio in India as it is in advanced talks to acquire and build warehousing assets here.
Blackstone has already built high-quality logistics platforms around the world. These include Milestone in Australia, which the firm sold last year in the biggest private real estate transaction in the country; Mileway, the largest owner of last-mile logistics assets in Europe; and DragonCor in China, which ranks among the top five largest logistics portfolios in the country.
Following the implementation of the Goods & Services Tax (GST) and the emergence of ecommerce, the Indian logistics and warehousing sector is headed towards transformative growth. The government’s decision to accord infrastructure status to the logistics industry is allowing developers access to low-cost funds for their development.
Given the fundamental shifts across the industrial and logistics sectors in the last couple of years, along with increasing demand for quality space, developers are more likely to build compliant, large-sized spaces.
ET has reported earlier that after emerging as the owner of India’s largest office real estate portfolio, the US-based private equity major has now set its sights on the country’s burgeoning warehousing & logistics sector.
Blackstone has emerged as the most aggressive institutional investor in India with overall assets under management estimated to be $60 billion across various sectors, making it one of the top 10 business groups in the country. Real estate accounts for nearly $20 billion of this market value across over 40 investments.
Blackstone is the largest office owner in India with an office portfolio of 135 million sq ft across 48 assets in 7 cities. Of this, around 15 million sq ft offices are under construction and 22 million sq ft is future development. Of this 135 million sft, Blackstone has created Nucleus Office Parks platform with 16 million sq ft for hosting 100% owned commercial assets.
Blackstone additionally owns over 9 million sq ft of retail space under the Nexus malls portfolio of 16 malls and 35.5 million sq ft of logistics space under Horizon Industrial Parks portfolio and Greenbase Industrial and Logistics Park.