Spanish infrastructure player Isolux Corsan, which is currently working in the highways sector, is looking at raising private equity funding of up to $100 million for its projects in India, said sources familiar with the development. Isolux Corsan has an investment amount of over 1 billion euros (Rs 6,200 cr) in highway concessions in India.

The company operates in India through Gurgaon-based Isolux Corsan India Engineering & Construction Pvt Ltd. Isolux Corsan is present in 25 countries with core operations in America, Asia and Western Africa. The company builds and manages more than 1,500 km of motorways in Brazil, India, Spain and Mexico. For 2009, Isolux registered a revenue of 3 billion euro (Rs 18,760 crore), where the international revenue stands at 1.7 billion euro (Rs 10,560 crore).

The mail sent to Isolux spokesperson on Tuesday did not elicit any response till the report is published.

In 2009, Isolux was awarded its second highway in India, expansion of road NH6, Maharashtra Border-Haziran Port, and its operation for 19 years, for a value of 334 million euros (Rs 2076 cr). In 2008, Isolux bagged the 730-million euros (Rs 4540 cr) contract for the expansion and operation for a period of fifteen years of the 291-km long highway stretch between NH1 Panipat and Jarandar. It has completed the Varanasi-Aurangabad motorway project.

In May 2010, Isolux Corsan had signed a 60:40 JV with C & C Constructions Limited, a leading infrastructure project development company, to jointly execute construction contracts in the infrastructure space. Another infrastructure major, Soma Enterprises has a 50:50 joint venture partnership with Isolux Corsan for the road projects.

The highways 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.

According to earlier VCCircle report, Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises Ltd (NICE), subsidiary of BSE-listed BF Utilities Ltd, is in talks with PE fund managed by JP Morgan to sell stake in 164-km toll-way between Bangalore and Mysore.

In another large deal, 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 player in roads and highways.

The Indian government is also in discussions with Singapore state investor Temasek to set up a $2-billion road fund, said a report in Wall Street Journal in June. Kamal Nath, Union minister for Road Transport and Highways, has reportedly said that Indian Government planned to award as much as 12,000 km of road contracts within the next fiscal year and has set a target of having more than 24,000 km of road under construction by the end of 2011. The lion's share of India's $80-billion road investment is expected from the private sector.

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