Blackstone-backed Nexus Select Trust circles R City Mall in Mumbai

January 7, 2024

Blackstone-sponsored Nexus Select Trust is understood to be keen to add R City Mall in Mumbai to its REIT portfolio, three sources said.

Talks have been on for some time between the REIT and mall owner Runwal Developers, and sources indicated that it was not certain whether a transaction would emerge from the discussions.

A lot would depend on whether Runwal was willing to sell it. In response to a query from businessline over WhatsApp, Managing Director Sandeep Runwal replied, “No plans whatsoever to sell R City.”

In May, Runwal Developers acquired Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC’s 50 per cent stake in the mall for ₹1000 crore, roughly valuing it at around ₹2000 crore. Runwal’s intention in acquiring full ownership of the mall was to grow his company’s annuity business and have a dominant share in the city’s retail landscape.

At the time of the acquisition, Runwal had said that he would be investing more in upgrading the mall to attract more footfalls. The developer owns three other malls in the city.

R City, which has been operational for around 13 years, is spread over 1.2 million square feet of retail space and has grown over the years. One of the largest malls in the city, it is the only mall that has an Ikea store on its premises.

Nexus Select Trust, the country’s only mall-focused REIT owns 17 malls across 13 cities and has only one in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region – Nexus Seawoods in Navi Mumbai, which it acquired from Larsen & Toubro. It has been scouting for more malls in the financial capital, which is seeing a rapid upgrade in infrastructure and connectivity.

R City is strategically located in the busy eastern suburb of Ghatkopar, which has a rich catchment of residences and consumers across a wide spectrum, assuring it of ready footfalls. A metro line already connects it to the western suburbs, while another under-construction metro line passes right over the mall and once operational will provide connectivity to more and distant areas.

Nexus Select Trust declined any comment on the story.

Leave a Comment