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Blackstone, K Raheja Pick More Banks for Indian REIT IPO

Baiju Kalesh

(Bloomberg) -- Blackstone Group and Indian developer K Raheja Group have selected more banks for an initial public offering of their joint commercial property portfolio, according to people familiar with the matter.

Citigroup Inc., Kotak Mahindra Capital Co. and Axis Capital Ltd. were picked to join Morgan Stanley to arrange the listing of the assets as real estate investment trust in Mumbai, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the discussions are private.

While the private equity firm and K Raheja are still working on the property composition for the REIT, they aim to finish the share sale by as soon as March, the people said.

A successful debut would mark India’s second REIT after the listing of Embassy Office Parks REIT in April. The country’s cash-starved developers have been seeking ways to monetize their assets as the industry is struggling with sluggish sales and price declines that followed a 2016 crackdown on cash and a lingering crisis in shadow lenders.

The Economic Times last month reported that Morgan Stanley was roped in for the planned REIT listing, while more banks will be hired soon.

Deliberations are ongoing and more banks can be added to the lineup, the people said. Details of the offering could also be changed, they said. Representatives for Blackstone, Citi and Morgan Stanley declined to comment, while representatives for Axis Capital, Kotak Mahindra and K Raheja Group didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

--With assistance from Dhwani Pandya.

To contact the reporter on this story: Baiju Kalesh in Mumbai at bkalesh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Fion Li at fli59@bloomberg.net, Arijit Ghosh

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