Catalyst takes over 8m square foot Indian project

London-based Catalyst Capital has stepped in to manage a large development project in central India after Halifax Bank of Scotland withdrew support for the previous manager.

Catalyst Capital, the European private equity real estate firm, has taken over the management of an 8 million square foot development site in India formerly managed by a subsidiary of troubled fund manager, aAIM, also London-based.

Catalyst Capital told PERE the 248-acre project in Nagpur, central India, could be inserted into its second Indian opportunity fund.

aAIM ’s Indian operation was managing  the development with local developer Soham Real Estate before lender Halifax Bank of Scotland withdrew its support for aAIM in October last year.

Following that, Access Investments, the holding company which owns shares in the Indian special purpose vehicle controlling the project, of which HBOS is prominent shareholder, sought an alternative firm to manage the project instead.

Catalyst Capital is already managing a proportion of the assets within aAIM ’s principle £2 billion European Symmetry Fund.

The Indian scheme was intended to have been the seed asset of a new $2bn opportunity fund that aAIM was planning to raise.

Jonathan Petit, executive director at Catalyst Capital told PERE the firm had been mandated by Access to undertake a six month review of the scheme in its current form. The final decision about whether the project will be inserted into Catalyst’s second fund will be taken once the review is completed.

Catalyst manages its Indian vehicles in partnership with Mumbai-based firm Samsara Capital. The partners raised $100 million last year for their first fund.