AAIM to invest $700m in Indian township

The UK firm will lead a consortium in investing in a mixed-use project in Nagpur, central India.

Active Asset Investment Management has made its first investment in India, pledging £350 million ($700 million) to a 7 million square foot mixed-use development in Nagpur, India. AAIM will be the largest shareholder in the project.

This is the first deal in India for the firm since it launched its £1 billion ($2 billion) Indian fund in February. The firm set up its India operations, called aAIM India, in January 2007.

The project comprises 3,000 residences. The first phase of construction is set to be completed in late 2009, and the whole project’s construction will last six years.

In total, the development is £600 million ($1.2 billion) and is being constructed by Soham Real Estate. Since 1980, Soham has developed 40 such developments.  AAIM is thought to have a little over 50 percent stake in the project. The rest of the project’s shareholders reportedly include Aanya, a division of Soham Real Estate, a Mauritius-based private fund and an undisclosed Indian bank.

Nagpur, which has a population of four million people, was selected as the site for the Indian Government’s 10,000 acre new National IT and logistics center, currently in an advanced stage of construction. The city is known for its highly educated population and a concentration of higher education establishments.

In addition to its residential space, the project also involves the development of roads, schools, healthcare and retail.

“This is only the second development of its kind in India approved under a new progressive scheme of the government,” said Anurag Chaturvedi, Chief Executive of aAIM India, in a statement. “The commercial attractiveness of the proposed development along with the strong execution capabilities of our partner should provide investors with confidence in our ability to source opportunities that will continue to offer high risk adjusted returns.”