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Business deals

Allianz unit commits $150m to Indian office development platform

German insurer's property arm to invest in Godrej Group-managed developer

The new Indian property development platform jointly held by Allianz, APG Asset Management and Godrej Group will initially focus on office projects in Mumbai and Gurgaon. REUTERS/Arko Datta   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- Allianz Real Estate, the property investment arm of German insurer Allianz, has committed $150 million to a closed-end office development platform managed by India's Godrej Group.

The platform, Godrej BTC (GBTC I), is targeting the development of premium Grade-A offices in tier-one cities in India, according to an announcement on Tuesday.

Along with Allianz, the other two backers of the $450-million platform are Godrej and European pension manager APG Asset Management. The three parties will each own a third of the office development platform, with Godrej Fund Management acting as investment manager, Allianz said.

GBTC I currently has two developments in its portfolio, in Mumbai and Gurgaon, totalling 2 million square feet. It has another 1.3 million square feet in its pipeline for a development in Bengaluru.

For Allianz, the investment in GBTC I is part of its strategy to allocate 50-60 per cent of its real estate exposure within Asia-Pacific to fast-growing markets such as China and India.

In 2017, the company made its first investment in India by establishing an office investment platform with business conglomerate Shapoorji Pallonji. Last year, it backed a venture with logistics developer ESR.

"Strong demographic trends and improving transparency are supporting real estate [occupancy] as well as investor demand, in particular in the office sector, which is ideal for long-term institutional investors such as Allianz," said Rushabh Desai, Asia-Pacific CEO of Allianz Real Estate.

Allen & Gledhill, Khaitan & Co, Ernst & Young and AECOM acted as advisers to Allianz.

DealStreetAsia is a financial news site based in Singapore focused on corporate investment activity in Southeast Asia and India. Nikkei recently announced the acquisition of a majority stake in the company.

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