Riding on Asia's robust retail growth and India's unprecedented retail boom, Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated (NYSE: JLL), and Colonial First State Property Management today announced a joint venture partnership to form Asia's first integrated retail development and management service provider - Sandalwood. The 50:50 joint venture company will help Asian and Indian developers and retailers to capitalize on premium retail opportunities as well as creating long term value for retail assets.
Colonial First State Property Management is one of Australia's largest full service property development, management and leasing specialists. Since its inception in 1983, the firm has undertaken more than 25 major shopping centre developments and now manages 36 centres on behalf of third party clients in every state of Australia, including iconic Chadstone Shopping Centre in Victoria, Chatswood Chase in Sydney and Queens Plaza in Brisbane.
India's retail sector is evolving at a swift pace and is set to grow by 35% by 2010. This growth has been fuelled by a strong economy, favourable demographics, rising wealth levels as well as rapidly changing lifestyles and consumer aspirations of an ever burgeoning middle class. The real estate sector has responded well to this retail growth. The total retail mall stock has been doubling every year, from a meagre one million sq ft in 2002 to a staggering 40 million sq ft in 2007 and an estimated 60 million sq ft by the end of 2008.
There are over 100 malls operating in India and more than 300 being developed and of this total, more than 90% have yet to achieve global benchmarks. In order to be globally successful, mall owners and developers in India need to focus on vision, scalability and processes and create a distinct proposition for themselves in this emerging market. Sandalwood, with its specialist property management skills and development expertise will ensure that retail owners and developers are strategically positioned for long term growth and success.
Anuj Puri, Chairman and Country Head, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj says, "As retail in India grows at a rapid pace, this is indeed an opportune moment for us to introduce specialized retail and intensive asset management services. Sandalwood will seek to create long term value for India's mall owners through its globally benchmarked practices, proven expertise in property development and intensive asset management."
Darren Steinberg, Head of Colonial First State Property Management says, "Asian economies are amongst the fastest growing in the world with real GDP compound average growth of approximately 9% per annum over the last five years, and their retail management and property development markets have grown at a compound average growth rate of more than 20% in the same period. Colonial First State Property Management's specialist retail property management skills enable property owners to receive the benefit of master planning and development expertise which is critical to ensuring assets are enhanced and strategically positioned for long-term growth and success."
Stewart Hutcheon has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of Sandalwood Asia. Mr Hutcheon is well known and highly regarded by the retail management and property development community in Australia. His impressive career includes over 18 years experience in the retail property sector. His most recent appointment was as Director of Leasing and Deputy Managing Director of AMP Capital Shopping Centres Pty Ltd, with shopping centre assets under management of approximately A$9 billion. Prior to that, he spent over seven years at Westfield, Australia.
In India, Sandalwood's operations will be spearheaded by Ms Gagan Singh, who has over 28 years of experience across the apparel, exports and hospitality sectors. In addition to performing her new role, she holds the position of Deputy CEO of Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj.
Ms Singh says, "I am delighted to be heading up this new and exciting company. Sandalwood will draw upon global expertise and local knowledge to bring our clients' visions to highly profitable retail environment that is based on strong differentiation for their retail assets. Sandalwood seeks to help create space not just to shop in, but to 'live' in."
Mr Puri concludes, "We are excited by the opportunities that lie ahead for Sandalwood India. The retail business in India is growing and the pace is expected to accelerate. The market and business outlook is extremely positive and Sandalwood is well-positioned to be an industry leader in the active retail sector in India."
About Jones Lang LaSalle
Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL) is a professional services firm specializing in real estate. The firm offers integrated services delivered by expert teams worldwide to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying or investing in real estate. With 2007 global revenue of USD 2.7 billion, Jones Lang LaSalle has approximately 170 offices worldwide and operates in more than 700 cities in 60 countries. The firm is an industry leader in property and corporate facility management services, with a global portfolio of approximately 1.2 billion square feet. LaSalle Investment Management, the company's investment management business, is one of the world's largest and most diverse in real estate with approximately USD 49.7 billion of assets under management. For further information, visit website, www.joneslanglasalle.com.