Shoppers ride escalators at a mall in India (Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg)

Dutch Pension Fund APG, Xander Buy India Malls For $300 Million

(Bloomberg) -- Dutch pension fund manager APG Asset Management NV and Virtuous Retail, owned by private-equity firm Xander Group Inc., have partnered to acquire retail real estate assets in India. 

The joint-venture has acquired an initial portfolio of three malls from a Xander-backed fund in a deal valued at about $300 million, the companies said in a statement Friday.

APG will contribute 77 percent of the equity and Xander the rest, according to the statement. The venture will have the capacity to invest a further $300 million to expand through acquisitions and developments.

“This is a landmark transaction for Indian retail real estate at a time when the sector is at an inflection point,” said Sachin Doshi, managing director and head of private real estate investments for Asia-Pacific at APG. “With the arrival and expansion of major global and domestic brands, coupled with the severe shortage of high quality malls, we believe organized retail is in early stages of take-off in the country.”

The initial portfolio comprises about 3.5 million square-feet of retail space in Bengaluru, Surat and Chennai. The company will expand its portfolio of retail-anchored lifestyle projects by adding centers in key markets including Mumbai, Hyderabad and Delhi and surrounding areas.