IBM to start office in Kochi soon – ET RealEstate

KOCHI: Software technology giant International Business Machines Corp (IBM) will be opening a large office in Kochi soon and by the time its new facility is fully functional, post-Covid, the company will have a new name Kyndryl.

The IBM signboard will be in Kochi only for a few months more, before assuming the new moniker Kyndryl.

Globally, IBM’s ‘managed infrastructure services’ business is being spun-off into an independent new company named Kyndryl, with its headquarters in New York. This new firm will continue with the original IT infrastructure business of IBM and it will enable IBM to focus on more profitable business areas of cloud services and artificial intelligence (AI). However, there are chances that the transition might be delayed for a few months more, until the end of the calendar year.

When asked, a senior official with IBM’s corporate communications team said that the company would open as IBM in Kochi and shared an FAQ on Kyndril which said, “Throughout 2021, and until the spin, IBM will continue to invest in Kyndryl to ensure that it maintains its leadership position in the market and can capitalize on the changes taking place to innovate in managed services”.

“IBM India is expected to open their larger office during Q2 or Q3 of the current financial year. But, by the time IBM India will be spun-off into a separate company with a new name. Hence, you will in effect not get to see the name IBM on the signboards in Kochi,” a source in the know of the things said.

The firm already had been using “NewCo” as a placeholder name in their contracts with the external contractors, the source said.

However, the transition might be delayed for a few months more, until the end of the calendar year.

IBM is already present in Kochi at Centre A Offices, a premium business centre on MG Road, which houses their coordination office in Kerala with less than five people. Recently, the company had listed a huge number of vacancies for Kochi on their website, fuelling speculation that the opening of the Kochi office is imminent.

According to sources, British real estate consultancy Cushman & Wakefield had been in the search for a facility for IBM that could accommodate 400 people initially and then expand to 600 to 800 seats in the future.

It was two-and-a-half years ago that IBM first started scouting in Kochi for a property that could seat five to six people. Then they came back again eight or nine months ago, leasing a co-working space on MG Road.

A search on IBM India’s career page throws back 457 positions in Kochi, on their website.

“This is part of the company’s expansion into smaller cities – tier 2 & 3 cities – including Kochi,” another industry source said.

Sources hinted that the company will be opening in Infopark.

When contacted a senior official with the state government’s technology parks said that IBM might open the office, but there are details yet to be worked out.

“IBM’s plans are still up in the air. They have already set up a base outside the park [Infopark], a small place, and it is not hundred percent clear to me what exactly their plans are,” the official said.

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IL&FS expects BKC headquarters, GIFT City towers’ sale to fetch over Rs 1,350 crore – ET RealEstate

The government-appointed management of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) expects the sale of its iconic corporate headquarters in Mumbai’s Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) and two commercial towers in Gujarat’s GIFT city to fetch over Rs 1,350 crore.

The non-banking finance company expects the final bids from interested entities for these real estate assets in May.

At least a dozen entities have expressed initial interest in buying the IL&FS headquarters and the final bids will show the actual conversion. The deadline for final bids for this asset is at the end of this month (April), but we expect this to spill over to May,” C.S. Rajan, Managing Director, IL&FS told the media at a web conference.

ET had reported in December that global institutional investors including the Blackstone Group, Brookfield Asset Management, Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, Ivanhoe Cambridge and Mapletree Investments have shown interest in buying the IL&FS headquarters. Domestic investors such as Godrej Fund Management and realty developer RMZ Corp were also said to have indicated their interest in the marquee property.

The landmark building was one of the first projects to come up in the BKC central business district. The 10-story office building, with about 450,000 sq ft of leasable area, counts IBM, IDFC, The Carlyle Group, Avendus and PayPal among its tenants.

IL&FS has also put two 28-storey commercial towers in Gujarat’s Gift City on the block. These are developed by special purpose vehicles–Sabarmati Capital One and Sabarmati Capital Two–respectively, which are subsidiaries of IL&FS Urban Infrastructure.

In a video conference on Thursday, the Uday Kotak-led IL&FS board told the media that it estimates overall recovery to be around Rs 61,000 crore, an upward revision to its previous estimate of Rs 56,000 crore. Improved valuations, better operating performance, enhanced recoveries from non-group exposures are driving higher recoveries.

The company has already received Rs 150 crore through sale of two realty assets in Mumbai and Kolkata and Dighi Port insolvency proceeds.

IL&FS is monetising these assets with an objective to manage debt obligations. The failure of IL&FS to meet repayment obligations in September 2018 had triggered a liquidity squeeze that gripped India’s non-banking finance companies. As part of a clean-up, the government replaced the IL&FS board, which has been engaged in trying to resolve its debt.

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Fidelity Investments renews lease with Xander for 3 lakh sq ft space in Bengaluru – ET RealEstate

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MUMBAI: Fidelity Investments, the American multinational financial services major, has renewed a lease for 3 lakh sq ft office space for its headquarters at twice the rentals being paid currently, said two persons with direct knowledge of the development.

The company has inked the deal with Xander Investment Management, the owner of the commercial office building Pinehurst at Bengaluru’s Golf Links Business Park.

Apart from the rentals, the deal assumes significance given that the financial giant has struck a 10-year long-term lease two years ahead of the expiry of its existing lease in 2022 and terms have been locked now.

“The new lease has been signed at around Rs 150 per sq ft per month and includes certain upgrades to be undertaken at Pinehurst, to provide highest quality occupancy experience to Fidelity,” said one of the persons mentioned above.

Pinehurst has been Fidelity’s headquarters in India since 2004 and houses its senior leadership.

This property was acquired by Xander Investment Management’s office properties platform in January 2018 in line with its strategy to acquire well located assets that can be upgraded into institutional assets with long-term stabilized returns.

The property is part of the 65-acre Golf Links Business Park and Goldman Sachs, IBM and Microsoft are some of the other notable occupiers in the vicinity.

ET’s email queries to both Fidelity and Xander Group remained unanswered until the time of going to press.

Transaction advisor CBRE South Asia declined to comment for the story.

Fidelity Investments commenced operations in India in 2003. As a global in-house center of Fidelity Investments, it has been supporting the group’s global businesses and customers in the US market from its offices in Bengaluru and Chennai.

The Indian commercial real estate market has shown resilience as indicated by the rising net office take up despite the impact of ongoing pandemic on the business environment and the emerging challenge of the Work-from-Home model.

This renewed interest in the country’s grade A institutional office space by global occupiers shows that Covid-19 has not deterred them in terms of their expansion plans in India.

Last week, Amazon leased nearly 2.6 lakh sq ft in Mumbai’s Vikhroli suburb in a combination of a lease and an option to lease additional space. Last month Standard Chartered GBS leased 7.7 lakh sq ft in an upcoming office project of DLF in Chennai that has emerged as one of the strongest office markets in recent years.

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HDFC extends funding of Rs 200 crore to DivyaSree’s Bengaluru commercial project – ET RealEstate

MUMBAI: Housing Development Finance Corp has extended Rs 200 crore funding to realty developer DivyaSree Infrastructure Projects for construction of a part of the commercial project Technopolis in Bengaluru, said two persons with direct knowledge of the development.

The non-banking finance company will charge below 11% interest for the loan with a total tenure of 48 months.

The construction finance loan is expected to be repaid in one single bullet payment of Rs 200 crore at the end of 48 month from the date of first disbursement or earlier at the option to be exercised by HDFC.

The loan will be serviced through monthly interest during this period.

The Bengaluru-based developer will be using the funds for construction of nearly 1 million sq ft development spread over 10 floors of Technopolis project.

The office building has been designed and being constructed as a built-to-suit project for a specific customer.

“As part of the agreement, the borrower has created an exclusive mortgage and charge over the said property in favor of HDFC,” said one of the persons mentioned above.

Technopolis is a 68-acre mixed-use project with a total development potential of 5.5 million sq ft, including commercial office spaces, residential villas and luxury apartments.

The under construction office spaces in this project are being developed as built-to-suit spaces for tenants like Xerox, Deloitte, Thomson Reuters, and Landmark Group totaling around 2.5 million sq ft.

ET’s email queries to HDFC remained unanswered until the time of going to press. DivyaSree’s Managing Director Bhaskar Raju declined to comment for the story.

Last year, private equity player Kotak Investment Advisors announced a $400 million fund in partnership with DivyaSree Developers to build and acquire commercial office assets across the country.

The developer has developed over 19 million sq ft office spaces since 2005 and has 6 million sq ft offices under construction across Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai. It counts Cisco, Dell, Oracle, Google, Accenture, IBM, Wells Fargo, Cognizant, UBS among its clients.

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