Italy’s Atlantia eyes India entry; Greenko may buy Essel Infra’s projects
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Italy’s Benetton family-controlled Atlantia is expected to enter India as it seeks to buy the operational road assets portfolio of Mumbai-based highway builder IRB Infrastructure for $2 billion (around Rs 12,700 crore), according to a media report.

The deal includes the purchase of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and Ahmedabad-Vadodara Expressway, which are among the busiest highways in the country, The Economic Times reported citing unidentified persons.

As part of the transaction, Atlantia may also get an equity exposure in IRB Infrastructure’s listed company, the newspaper reported. The Italian company is being advised by a European bank for funding, it said.

In another development in the similar space, Canadian asset management company Brookfield and I Squared Capital, which is backed by Gulf sovereign fund Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, are in the race to operate and manage nine road projects in India worth Rs 6,300 crore, The Economic Times reported citing unidentified persons.

The projects, which are 680.64 km in length, are in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. The projects are offered by state-run highway builder the National Highways Authority of India on a toll-operate-transfer (TOT) basis.

The bidder will operate and maintain roads and collect tolls from the public for a specified time period under the model.

Meanwhile, renewable energy firm Greenko Group is in talks to buy the power transmission business of Essel Infraprojects Ltd for $2 billion, Mint reported citing unidentified persons.

The deal, which will mark the entry of Hyderabad-based Greenko in the business, could be one of the largest deals in the space if it sails through. In 2016, the company had acquired SunEdison’s Indian assets at an enterprise value of $392 million.

Essel Infraprojects, part of Subhash Chandra-led Essel Group, has five transmission projects. The company was also planning to sell its solar business.

Financial services deal talks

IFMR group is in talks to appoint investment bankers as it seeks to float an initial public offering (IPO), Mint reported citing two unidentified persons.

IFMR, which was founded by former ICICI Bank executives Bindu Ananth and Nachiket Mor in 2007, is expected to raise at least Rs 1,000 crore through the public float.

Early this week, another financial services firm Bandhan Bank filed its draft prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

Global alternative investment management firm Oaktree Capital co-founder Howard Marks’ son has bought a significant minority stake in India-focussed public markets fund ValueQuest Capital, Mint reported.

This is a strategic investment for Andrew Marks, the newspaper reported. The value of the transaction is not revealed.

ValueQuest was sponsored and seeded by Religare Global Asset Management (RGAM), a part of Religare Enterprises, which have been shedding its assets in the past years.

UK’s Legal & General Group Plc has hired investment bank Ambit Corporate Finance Pvt. Ltd to sell its 26% stake in Indian life insurance firm IndiaFirst Life Insurance Co. Ltd, Mint reported.

Global insurers Ergo International AG and Manulife Financial Corp are separately in discussions to buy the UK firm’s stake.

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