Godrej Fund, Brookfield in line to acquire IL&FS property at BKC

01 Oct 2021

Brookfield Asset Management and Godrej Fund Management, a real estate-focused private equity arm of the Godrej Group, are in a close race to acquire the headquarters of IL&FS, an iconic property in Mumbai’s financial nerve-centre Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC).

IL&FS has obtained two final proposals of about Rs 1,000 crore from these institutional investors, and the government-appointed board is likely to choose and permit the buyer by end-December.

The committee will now continue with the discussions and negotiations with both final bidders individually. The results of these discussions will be submitted before the board that will choose the buyer by year-end.

The asset is being monetised via a price-discovery mechanism, and there was no reserve cost fixed for the property spread over 10 floors. But, the IL&FS board had estimated the property might bring approximately Rs 1,200 crore.

The iconic property was one of the first structures to emerge in BKC, which is now the de facto Central Business District of Mumbai.

The high-end office building with about 4.5 lakh sq ft of the leasable area includes IBM, IDFC, The Carlyle Group, Avendus and Paypal among its list of key tenants.

The top three floors of the building are owned by IL&FS Group firms and these are likely to be vacated in due course as the deal reaches closure.

IL&FS is monetising its assets to handle debt obligations. The failure of IL&FS to satisfy repayment obligations in September 2018 had triggered a liquidity squeeze that gripped India’s non-banking finance firms. The government replaced the IL&FS board as part of a clean-up. The new management, driven by Asia’s richest banker Uday Kotak, has been involved in trying to resolve the outstanding debt at the financier.

The building is mortgaged with mortgage lender HDFC for loans outstanding amount of Rs 400 crore, and the sale proceeds will additionally be used to pay off those debts.

Apart from Brookfield Asset Management and Godrej Fund Management that placed final proposals for the property, global institutional investors comprising the Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, Mapletree Investments, Blackstone Group and Ivanhoe Cambridge. RMZ Corp had also displayed initial interest in acquiring the property.

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