Toll road firm MEP Infrastructure Developers Ltd has received capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)'s approval to launch infrastructure investment trust 'MEP Infrastructure Investment Trust (MEP InvIT)'.
It had submitted its proposal to form the InvIT in March for an in-principle approval. The firm, which mainly operates in two business areas—toll collection and operate, maintenance and transfer (OMT)—will now start the process to form the proposed InvIT.
The company did not disclose how much it is looking to raise through the proposed InvIT. However, media reports said the firm is likely to raise around Rs 1,200 crore.
MEP Infra currently operates 23 toll collection projects with 40 toll plazas, five OMT projects covering 2,530.04 lane kms with 15 toll plazas and one BOT project covering 42.02 lane kms with five toll plazas. These projects are located across nine states in India.
Last year, it had raised around Rs 326 crore through an initial public offering (IPO), bulk of which was used to reduce its debt. Currently, its debt stands at around Rs 3,000 crore.
SEBI had issued norms for floating InvITs and real estate infrastructure trusts (REITs) in September 2014 after fine-tuning the draft norms in July 2014 to help cash-crunched infrastructure and realty firms to unlock capital while creating a new investment avenue for institutions and wealthy individuals.
MEP Infra is the second entity to get SEBI’s approval for setting up InvIT.
Earlier in March, IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd said it received the certification of registration to launch InvIT 'IRB InvIT Fund' for which the company is the sponsor. It plans to raise as much as Rs 1,500 crore thought the trust.
The firm has completed 68 projects, with 122 toll plazas and 783 lanes across 12 states in India.
IL&FS Transportation too had filed for approval to launch InvIT. Its application was pending as on April 30.
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