Reliance Industries is in advanced talks with the New York-based Vornado
Realty Trust, one of the world's top five real estate asset managers,
to float a $1-billion plus fund. The proposed fund will acquire and
manage properties, mainly in the retail space, across India. People
familiar with the development said RIL and the New York Stock Exchange-listed
real estate investment trust (REIT) were discussing the possibility
of an equal joint venture.
Vornado, which has a market capitalisation of nearly $14 billion, owns
and manages over 116 million sq ft of realty assets in the US with significant
concentration in New York and Washington districts. The sources said
while no definitive agreement is in place yet, both parties have made
substantial progress in negotiations. RIL spokesperson declined to comment
on the development.
It is believed that the joint venture is likely to manage real estate
for RIL's rapidly-expanding retail arm Reliance Retail (RRL). The group
could also consider taking realty assets off the balance sheet of RRL
and its subsidiaries and park it under the management of the proposed
joint venture. However, the likelihood of such a move could not be verified.