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24/05/2012

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GOLDMAN SACHS SEALS INDIA'S BIGGEST OFFICE SPACE DEAL

Ravi Teja Sharma, ET Bureau May 24, 2012, 09.13AM IST
NEW DELHI: US banking group Goldman Sachshas agreed to take on lease 1.6 million sq ft of office space - an area the size of nine football fields - in Bangalore, in what is the biggest recorded commercial property deal to date in India.

The two-step transaction, according to people familiar with the transaction, will see the New York-headquartered investment bank initially taking up one million square feet. Another 600,000 square feet will be taken up in the second step of the transaction.

The space, housed in a purpose-built block of three buildings for Goldman, is located on Bangalore's Sarjapur outer ring road. To be built on 14 acres by local builder Kalyani Developers, it will be ready in 2017 and house a bulk of the bank's staff in Bangalore, now scattered across six offices in a city IT park.

A spokesman for Goldman's Asian operations confirmed the bank had taken on lease one million square feet. "This new lease is...to consolidate our presence and to accommodate future growth in the country," he said. A senior executive at Kalyani, asking not to be identified, also confirmed the deal.

The transaction is welcome news for the commercial property business, which has been plagued by overcapacity and hit hard by the economic slowdown that has crimped demand for office space. While the slowdown has meant a sharp drop in new ventures seeking space, even businesses that need office space are choosing to adopt a wait-and-watch strategy in the hope of sealing deals at lower prices.

Goldman employs 4,000 people in Bangalore, performing back-office functions as varied as technology, finance and other operations.

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