GMR Group in pact with Macquarie SBI to divest 74% in highway project

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SummaryThe project commenced commercial operations in February 2009

GMR Group has signed a pact with Macquarie SBI Infrastructure Investments Pte and SBI Macquarie Infrastructure Trust to divest 74 per cent stake in GMR Jadcherla Expressways Ltd (GJEL) for Rs 206 crore.

GJEL is operating the Farukhnagar-Jadcherla highway in Andhra Pradesh under a concession agreement signed with NHAI.

The project commenced commercial operations in February 2009.

"GMR Group will receive consideration of about Rs 195 crore immediately and about Rs 11 crore on completion of certain conditions totaling to Rs 206 crore for the sale of 74 per cent stake. The original invested capital for the corresponding 74 per cent stake was about Rs 146 crore", a company statement said.

Macquarie SBI, one of the largest India focused infrastructure funds, has expanded its roads portfolio with this investment and has a well-diversified portfolio with assets in the telecom towers, airports, power, roads and renewable energy sectors, it said.

Kotak Investment Banking was the exclusive financial advisor to GMR Highways Ltd for the transaction.

Subba Rao Amarthaluru, Group CFO of GMR Group, said: "After a phase of rapid growth in diversified infra asset portfolio, we, at the GMR Group, are now consolidating our assets as projects get operationalised. Monetisation of assets by picking the right partners to divest is completely in sync with our strategy."

"This divestment of majority stake in our Jadcherla Road Project is the first step in this direction and reinforces the GMR Group's Asset Light and Asset Right philosophy".

Macquarie SBI Infrastructure Management CEO Suresh Goyal said,"This transaction, the seventh that MSIF (Macquarie SBI Infrastructure Fund) has completed to date, demonstrates the successful execution of MSIF's investment strategy in the Indian Infrastructure sector including the road sector."

Shares of the Bangalore-headquartered GMR Infrastructure closed at Rs 18.05 a scrip, down 0.55 per cent from the previous close on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

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