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Singapore’s Virtual Retail to invest $340 million in Thane, buys Raymond’s land for Rs 700 crore

FE Bureau
he company's development pipeline includes under construction projects in Bengaluru and Delhi NCR, opening in May 2020 and August 2022, respectively.

Virtuous Retail South Asia, a part of Singapore-based Xander Group, announced an investment of $340 million (Rs 2,400 crore) on Wednesday in a mixed use development project in Thane (Mumbai Metropolitan Region).

The firm has acquired a 20-acre land parcel from Raymond for $100 million (Rs 700 crore) and will invest an additional $240 million (Rs 1,700 crore) to develop the site and build a 3.7 million square feet mixed-use city centre anchored by a 2.4 million sq ft VR retail flagship.

The investment is in line with VRSA's nation-wide expansion strategy through both ground-up development and inorganic acquisitions. The company's development pipeline includes under construction projects in Bengaluru and Delhi NCR, opening in May 2020 and August 2022, respectively. Along with its existing projects in Chennai, Punjab, Bengaluru and Surat, VRSA's pan-India portfolio now stands at about 11 million sq ft.

In a separate filing to the stock exchanges, Raymond said that its associate company JK Investo Trade has entered into an agreement for sale of property measuring around 20 acres in Thane with an affiliate of Virtuous Retail South Asia for Rs 700 crore subject to payment of taxes, cost of approval as applicable.

In the first phase of development, VRSA will deliver a 2.4 million sq ft VR flagship centre anchored by top international and national brands in retail, dining, lifestyle, and entertainment offerings. Upon completion, the centre is expected to attract over 20 million customer visits annually, and generate over 4,000 permanent, direct new jobs, in addition to over 7,000 construction jobs over the next four years during the development phase, according to a company statement.

Commenting on the acquisition, Sid Yog, founder, VRSA, said, "We envision a vibrant, 24/7, people-centric development that will draw upon the heritage and history of the region, bolster tourism, create thousands of new jobs, and make a major contribution to the local economy and community."

Gautam Hari Singhania, chairman and managing director, Raymond, said, "The sale of JKIT land parcel is a major step towards our strategy of asset monetisation and value creation for our shareholders."

Raymond's share price closed up 10.1% at Rs 601.85, on Wednesday, on BSE.