Blackstone to buy Unitech-promoted IT SEZ in Gurgaon for Rs2600 crore

The world's largest property investor, Blackstone, has agreed to buy out a 3.6 million square feet (sq ft) information technology SEZ in Gurgaon for Rs2600 crore.

The SEZ, Infospace, is promoted by Unitech Corporate Parks (UCP), an entity promoted by Unitech and other investors such as RBS AA Holdings, Brookfield Asset and Morgan Stanley. Unitech's indirect holding in UCP, a London-based Alternative Investment Market (AIM)-listed firm, is around 45 per cent.

UCP had recently shortlisted GIC and Blackstone for the final round of bidding from among a clutch of PE investors that included Xander, Canadian Pension Fund, Kotak Realty Fund and Mapletree.

Unitech is India's one of the largest real estate investment company. It will get around Rs1100 crore from the deal. The company is likely to use the money to pare debt that was around Rs6,000 crore as on June 30, 2013.

Unitech had come out of a failed telecom joint venture with Norwegian firm Telenor recently. It is now refocussing on its core business, building homes and offices. This deal provides relief to the Gurgaon company, preparing for a comeback after coming to a verge.

Blackstone group is eyeing the income-producing assets like offices and SEZs which are out on lease.

The leasing of offices fell significantly in the first half of 2013 just like the fall of the housing market.

In 2007, Blackstone had acquired Hilton Worldwide Inc, just before the markets took a turn. After six years, Hilton filed for an initial public offering on 14 September 2013 to raise up to $1.25 billion (See: Hilton files for IPO after six years of PE ownership)