US$ 970 mn PE inflows in retail hit five-year high in 2019

01 Feb 2020 Long Read

Despite tepid consumer spends, the total PE inflows into Indian retail hit a new high in 2019 among all five years between 2015 to 2019. Total retail-focused PE inflows touched US$ 970 million in 2019 – a 19 per cent share of the total US$ 5 billion in overall Indian real estate, reveals research by Anarock Capital.

Key PE deals in Indian retail – 2015-2019



Deal Amount approx ($ million)







Carnival Group




L&T Realty


Navi Mumbai


Kalani Group




Virtuous Retail South Asia




Alpha G: Corp


Amritsar and   Ahmedabad


Sheth Developers



Source: Anarock Research

Shobhit Agarwal, Managing Director & CEO, Anarock Capital, says, “Back in 2018, retail inflows stood at a mere US$ 355 million, comprising just 7 per cent share of the total PE funds. In the previous five years, after 2019, 2017 saw the second-highest PE inflows in retail at US$ 890 million. Interestingly, in 2019, Delhi-NCR received the maximum PE inflows of about US$ 610 million – a massive 63 per cent share of the total retail funds into Indian realty during this period.” 
“While commercial offices topped the funding charts, the retail sector witnessed the second-highest investments from various PE funds in 2019,” says Agarwal. “Compared to 2018, total PE inflows into Indian retail saw an almost three-fold jump in investments – from US$ 355 million in 2018 to over US$ 970 million in 2019. Investors are betting big on selected Grade-A mall projects which have high scope of business profitability. Despite the consumption slump, many malls are doing excellent business today – and investors are keenly vying for such projects.
PE funds see the ongoing consumerism slump in India as a seasonal phenomenon and that the enthusiastic government backing to the retail sector will cause the tide to turn in the near future.
Apart from the top cities, Tier-II and Tier-III cities are also on the radar of many PE funds which see these cities actively driving retail going forward. At least 36 per cent (nearly US$ 1 billion) retail-focused funds went to cities like Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Nagpur and Mohali.
In 2019, Anarock Capital was instrumental in Virtuous Retail South Asia (a JV between Singapore’s PE firm Xander Group and Dutch institutional investor APG) concluding a US$ 100 million deal with Tata Realty and Infrastructure for two retail malls – one each in Nagpur and Amritsar.
Overall PE inflows in Indian retail touched US$ 2.8 billion in the five years between 2015 and 2019 – fairly close to the residential segments’ total PE inflows of US$ 3.4 billion in this period.
Cities attracting PE investors

  • Delhi-NCR received the maximum retail-focused PE inflows between 2015-2019 – more than US$ 750 million. 
  • MMR was second with US$ 410 million funnelled into retail over the last five years
  • Pune saw PE inflows of nearly USD 150 million in retail segment.
  • Bengaluru retail saw total PE investments of US$ 275 million since 2015.
  • Hyderabad and Chennai together attracted close to US$ 230 million during the same period.
  • Chandigarh was a major funding target for US-based Blackstone which invested US$ 340 million in a single large deal in 2017.
  • Ahmedabad also drew the attention of PE investors and saw its retail sector draw nearly US$ 220 million in the last five years.

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