Logix Group buys Apollo Global’s stake in its Noida projects

Bengaluru: Global alternative asset manager Apollo Global Management Llc has sold its investment in Logix Group’s projects in Noida back to the promoters, marking its first exit from a real estate project since it started investing in the sector on its own in 2016.

The company is also in talks to raise another Rs200 crore from Apollo Global for its upcoming projects, a top Logix Group executive said.

The New York-based firm had invested around Rs300 crore across residential, retail and office projects of Logix mainly in Noida and which it has exited in around two years with an internal rate of return (IRR) of around 26%, an attractive rate given the current slowdown in real estate, said Shakti Nath, chairman and managing director of Logix Group.

“We bought back the non-convertible debentures from Apollo Global that we had issued earlier. We are happy that we could give them an exit in such a short period,” said Nath.

An Apollo Global spokesperson declined to comment.

The Logix investment that Apollo sold now was the first real estate deal that the company struck on its own in India.

However, it had made a separate Rs70 crore investment in Logix Cyber Park as early as 2010. That investment came to it when Apollo acquired Citi Property Investors, the real estate investment division of Citigroup Inc., which had invested in Logix earlier.

In 2015, Apollo sold that investment.

In May 2015, Apollo appointed Nipun Sahni, former managing director, real estate private equity at Merrill Lynch, to head real estate investments in the country.

This year, Logix Group has two new projects lined up: a mixed-use development project in Noida for which it has already raised capital, and an information technology (IT) park in Noida for which it plans to raise Rs200 crore. Nath said the company is in talks with Apollo Global for a fresh round of fund infusion.

Since 2016, apart from the Logix deal, Apollo Global with realty firm Salarpuria Sattva formed a joint venture to buy out 100% stake in two projects, in Bengaluru and Vadodara, from a consortium of offshore investors for Rs275 crore.

“Apollo Global has invested around Rs700 crore in Mumbai towards the end of 2017, including Rs525 crore in an affordable housing project, taking the firm’s total investment in India to over Rs1,000 crore. It is currently looking at more investment opportunities across asset classes and cities,” said a person familiar with the investment firm’s plans, declining to be named.

“It has exited investments in Ahuja Constructions and BPTP Ltd’s projects aggregating $100 million and two exits are still pending,” said the person quoted above. Both these investments were made earlier by Citi.

“While India remains a good destination for real estate investments, the real success is in showing exits. Many global investors who came in before 2008 are still carrying some of those old investments. In the last few years, foreign institutional investors came in with a different approach and have heavily invested in commercial office and retail mall projects,” said Shashank Jain, partner, transaction services, PwC India.livemint