HomeInfraClutch of funds in race for NIIF's $1.2 billion roads portfolio

Clutch of funds in race for NIIF’s $1.2 billion roads portfolio


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Mumbai: Up to 10 global and domestic infrastructure funds, including the likes of KKR, have shown interest in acquiring the road assets owned by the government backed infrastructure fund, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), said multiple people aware of the development.

The portfolio consists of five road stretches totalling 230 kilometres across India, and is likely to fetch an enterprise value of $1-1.2 billion (₹10,000 crore), said sources.

Global infrastructure majors signing the Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) include Spanish company Abertis, French road developer VINCI Highways, PE fund KKR and two Canadian funds – CDPQ, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). A road operator from South Korea is also interested and signed the NDA but its name could not be independently ascertained yet.

Edelweiss-owned road operator Sekura Roads has also signed the NDA. Non-binding offers are expected by mid-January. JP Morgan is running the sale process.

ET first reported in October on NIIF’s plans to sell the assets and hiring JP Morgan as the banker.

Mails sent to NIIF, CPPIB, VINCI, Abertis, KKR, Edelweiss did not elicit any responses till the press time, while a CDPQ spokesperson declined to comment.

The operational road projects are held under Athaang Infrastructure – sponsored by NIIF’s Master Fund. Earlier, NIIF had planned to raise $500 million (₹4,000 crore) from both global and domestic investors through a road InvIT. However, the plan was called off and decided to sell the assets.

“This is the largest road portfolio available in the market, and spread across the country,” said an executive with one of the funds which is interested in the deal.

Major assets within this portfolio include two highways situated in Jammu & Kashmir – the 16.3-kilometre Qazigund Banihal Expressway, and the 64.5-kilometre Jammu Udhampur Highway.

The other roads in South India owned by Athaang are Devanahalli Tollway which connects Bengaluru city to its airport and Telengana’s Dichpally Tollway – an important link between two key industrial hubs, Hyderabad and Nagpur.

A major portion of the traffic plying on the Devanahalli Tollway project stretch is airport bound. Post the recovery in FY22 and FY23, the annual average daily traffic PCUs on the project stretch grew to 87,606 in 1HFY24 from 75,096 in FY23. The daily average toll collection grew to ₹81 lakh in 1HFY24, aided by increased toll rate aided by inflation and growth in traffic, said a November report by India Ratings and Research.


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