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From Blackstone to GIC, a dozen firms line up for Citibank's BKC property

Raghavendra Kamath/Mumbai 16 Apr 19 | 09:24 PM

At least a dozen prospective buyers have placed bids to buy Citi Centre, erstwhile headquarters of US-based banking major Citibank in the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) here, a source said.

Among these are US-based private equity fund manager Blackstone, Singaporean sovereign fund GIC, the K Raheja Corp, Mirae Asset Management, Godrej Fund Management, the property arm of Interglobe Aviation and Kotak Realty Fund.

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The sale could fetch the foreign bank between Rs 300 crore and Rs 400 crore — rates for commercial property in the area are between Rs 32,000 and Rs 40,000 a sq ft, said the source. The stand-alone building is 90,000 sq ft.

The final bidder is expected to be announced by next week, the source added. Two international property consultancies, CBRE and JLL, are handling the process. Citi declined to comment on the subject. Mails sent to GIC, K Raheja Corp, Mirae Asset Management, Interglobe did not elicit any response. A Kotak spokesperson said, “No comments." Blackstone did not offer any comment on the subject.

A spokesperson from Godrej Fund Management said: “We do not comment on market speculation."

Citibank had planned to sell the eight-storey building in 2013 but did not proceed. It has since shifted all its front-end businesses, including consumer, investment and corporate banking, to the First International Finance Centre, a building in BKC.

“Not many independent buildings are available for outright sale. That is why funds, developers and investors have shown interest in the property," said the source in the know.

Most of the bidders are actively buying commercial property in the country. Blackstone has become one of the biggest buyers of such property in Mumbai. 

It owns marquee ones such as Express Towers and 247, and is in talks with Radius Developers and Adani Group to buy office buildings in BKC. Blackstone also owns 15 per cent in the rental arm of K Raheja Corp, which is also bidding for the Citibank property.

GIC owns the Nirlon IT Park in the Goregaon area of Mumbai. K Raheja Corp is one of the biggest owner of commercial property in Mumbai and had tied up with GIC to buy the Siemens property in the Worli area. Interglobe’s property arm earlier bid for GIC-Tishman Speyer’s Waverock property in Hyderabad (which finally went to a Shapoorji Pallonji-Allianz combine).

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