Macquarie SBI Infra Fund invests $18M in Ashoka Concessions in fresh tranche

A joint venture infrastructure fund of State Bank of India (SBI) and Australia's Macquarie has invested Rs 110 crore ($17.8 million) in a fresh tranche in Ashoka Concessions Ltd, a subsidiary of Ashoka Buildcon Ltd, as per a stock market disclosure.

The fund will be used for equity investment into various under construction projects. The investment has been made by Singapore-domiciled Macquarie SBI Infrastructure Fund (MSIF) and its Indian co-investor SBI Macquarie Infrastructure Trust (SMIT). In August 2012, MSIF had committed $150 million to the company and

this is part of the commitment. Including the current tranche, the fund has invested Rs 490 crore to date and the balance would be invested as per equity requirements of projects under construction.

Incorporated in 2011, Nashik-based Ashoka Concessions is engaged in the engineering and construction of residential, commercial, industrial and institutional buildings, toll roads and toll bridges.

In the same filing, the company has informed that its associate firm Jaora-Nayagaon Toll Road Company Pvt Ltd (JNRL), the special purpose vehicle, has also been sanctioned re-finance aggregating Rs 613 crore by ICICI Bank Ltd which replaces existing project loan of Rs 540 crore. The investment will help JNRL to reduce interest cost as the rate has been reduced by 90 bps and for repayment of creditors of JNRL.

The project is on DBFOT (toll) basis with a concession period of 25 years, including the construction period.

MSIF is investing through a $1.2 billion fund whose portfolio includes thermal power projects of Moser Baer and Adhunik Power & Natural Resources besides telecom tower firm Viom Telecom and GMR Airports.

Ashoka Concessions is a subsidiary of Ashoka Buildcon, a highway concession and EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) services provider backed by IDFC Private Equity.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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