Blackstone betting big on India-its most profitable market

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(PTI) Holding over USD 50 billion in assets under management already, the Wall Street major Blackstone is increasing its bet on the country, promising to pump in more dollars than it has already invested in the past decade, going forward.

For the American alternate investment management giant with close to USD 620 billion in AUMs globally, India is its most profitable market in terms of returns — its seed investment of around USD 25 billion is worth over USD 50 billion at present, according to co-founder, chairman and chief executive Stephen A Schwarzman.

In the past decade, Blackstone has invested more than USD 22 billion in the country and some of its existing investments include Mphasis, (its largest investment so far– USD 2 billion already invested and an additional USD 2.8 billion commitment), Nexus Malls, edutech player Aakash, the largest specialty glass packaging maker Piramal Glass (USD 1 billion), global leader in recyclable packaging tubes Essel Propack, and largest independent affordable housing finance company Aadhar, Prestige commercial and retail portfolio for USD 1.6 billion among others.

That apart it has two REITs, making it the largest owner of office, real estate and a leading player in the retail and logistics space. Last year, it launched Asia’s largest and the country’s first two REITs.

India is the most successful investment destination for the firm. The company anticipates investing more in the next 10 years that it has already invested in the previous period, Schwarzman told PTI over the weekend from his New York headquarters, when he also announced a USD 5-million Covid-19 aid to the country.

Blackstone is one of the largest private market investors in India, managing around USD 50 billion of market value. This makes it one of the 10 largest business houses in the country, Schwarzman said, adding it is the largest commercial real estate owner in India with a portfolio of around 130 million across offices and retail malls.

Our India portfolio companies, including real estate companies, support employment of around 2 million and directly employ over 65,000, he said.

In the first four months of 2021 alone, Blackstone has invested USD 5.5 billion, including the USD 2.8-billion it committed last week into the software firm Mphasis in which it already owns 56 per cent, through an open offer for 26 per cent more.

As against this, Blackstone had invested only USD 4 billion and made exits worth USD 2 billion in the year.

‘We are committing USD 5 million to support India’s pandemic reliefs and vaccination efforts to provide healthcare services to marginalised communities in rural and urban areas, address shortages of oxygen concentrators and ventilators, and provide healthcare workers with essential supplies,’ he had told PTI on April 28. 



Categories: Venture Capital

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