Morgan Stanley Infra To Invest $200M In JV For India Road Projects

By Shrija Agrawal

  • 24 May 2011

Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners (MSIP), a $4 billion global infrastructure fund sponsored by Morgan Stanley, has committed to invest up to $200 million in a joint venture with Isolux Corsán Concesiones in India. VCCircle was the first to report this deal on November 01, 2010.

Grupo Isolux Corsán has also committed to match the investment in the joint venture, bringing the total commitment to $400 million, which will be one of the largest foreign investments in Indian transport infrastructure to date, according to a statement.

Isolux Corsán Concesiones is a large-scale infrastructure concessions subsidiary of Grupo Isolux Corsán, a global company with revenues of  $4 billion, specialising in large projects across construction, engineering and concessions.


Isolux Cosrsan also has a JV with Soma Enterprises for road projects.

The joint venture is constructing three highway projects in India under long-term concession agreements awarded through the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) program of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

The three projects, which total over 400 kilometers of road, are estimated to cost over $1.6 billion and have already received debt financing from leading financial institutions and substantial equity investment from Isolux Corsán.


VCCircle learns that the joint venture will be responsible for the construction and development of the following projects: Soma-Isolux Surat Hazira Tollway Pvt.Ltd,  Soma Isolux Kishangarh Beawar Tollway Pvt. Ltd, and an SPV to be formed for the Varanasi-Aurangabad project.

The projects are expansions of existing roads, and will link major cities, industrial hubs, as well as ports and tourist attractions. In addition to these three projects, Isolux Corsán has qualified to bid on several new NHAI projects.

Antonio Portela, CEO of Grupo Isolux Corsán, said, “We look forward to working with Morgan Stanley Infrastructure, a renowned global infrastructure investor. This investment represents the recognition of our strategy in India and the confidence in our expertise in the development of large infrastructure projects in emerging markets. We believe that Isolux Corsán Concesiones and Morgan Stanley Infrastructure will together capitalize on the Indian roads opportunity and create a best-in-class road portfolio company in the years to come.”


For Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners, this clearly is more of an annuity play or a regular stream of dividends being generated by these projects. The investment firm earlier this year led a $425 million round of funding in Asian Genco, a Singapore based company with power generation assets in India. Globally, the firm has invested in Chicago Loop Parking, the largest underground parking system in the US, and also in a Chilean electricity distribution, generation and transmission company.

The road sector has been increasingly attracting the attention of private equity players. India may require $1.7 trillion in the decade starting 2010 to meet infrastructure demand and keep pace with economic growth and urbanisation, said a report by Goldman Sachs. Of this, power and roads alone may require upwards of $700 billion.

In a recent deal, Norwest Venture Partners and Xander Group invested Rs 400 crore in Sadbhav Infrastructure Project, which has a portfolio of nine concession based projects. Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises Ltd  (NICE), which is developing the 164-km tollway between Bangalore and Mysore, is currently in talks with PE players to raise funding of around $100 million.


Private equity major Actis formed a $200 million joint venture with Tata Realty & Infrastructure to develop roads and highways. India Venture Advisors also invested Rs 50 crore in C&C Constructions, a players in roads and highways.

The Indian road development program being undertaken by the NHAI under a Public-Private-Partnership model is among the largest PPP programs in the world today. NHAI’s National Highway Development Program was initiated in 1999 and is estimated to total $50 billion when completed. India has witnessed double-digit growth in vehicle registrations over the past 10 years, according to Euromonitor, and Morgan Stanley Research identifies it as the second-fastest growing auto market in the world.

“The joint venture with Isolux Corsán Concesiones adds to our successful presence in India’s transportation sector, providing us with an excellent road concession platform in a market that is experiencing rapid urbanization and dramatic growth in vehicles,” said Gautam Bhandari, Head of MSI Asia. “As with our other investments in emerging markets, we target unique assets and world-class partners to build exceptional infrastructure companies in the region."


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