MUMBAI U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group (BX.N), along with two other companies, have agreed to buy a business park in south India for 19.5 billion rupees ($367 million), two sources with direct knowledge told Reuters.
The deal, which is expected to be concluded within two to three months according to the sources, would be the largest private equity investment by value in India's real estate sector since 2008.
Blackstone, a property fund founded by Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC.NS) and unlisted real estate developer Embassy Group plan to invest an equal amount to buy Vrindavan Tech Village, a special economic zone on the outskirts of Bangalore in the southern state of Karnataka, one source said on condition of anonymity as the deal is not yet finalized.
The facility, built by Singapore-based developer Assetz Property Group, is spread across 106 acres of which about 20 acres have been developed into 1.9 million square feet of offices occupied by companies that include Cisco (CSCO.O), Sony Corp (6758.T) and Nokia (NOK1V.HE).
On the remaining acres, Embassy plans to build homes on 30 acres and about 5 million to 6 million square feet of offices on the rest, said the source.
Real estate made up about a quarter of Blackstone's total global assets under management of $210 billion at the end of December, and is its most profitable business.
In India, Blackstone has invested nearly $600 million in commercial assets over the past two years, making it one of the largest private equity investors in the country.
Blackstone, Embassy and Assetz declined to comment. HDFC did not respond to messages. ($1 = 53.1250 Indian rupees)
(Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)