The Adani Group seems to be on the prowl for road assets. The company is believed to be evaluating road projects of at least half a dozen road developers, with an eye on making a swift entry into the fast growing infrastructure segment. According to sources, the group is in preliminary discussions with Essel Highways and IL&FS Engineering. One of the sources told FE, “Other projects in the market for sale, that they obviously might have had looked at, are L&T’s road projects, IVRCL’s remaining road projects, JMC’s Projects and Sadbhav’s portfolio.” JMC is a Kalpataru Group company while Sadbhav Engineering’s road projects are mostly housed under its group company Sadbhav Infrastructure Project. The Adani Group, when approached by FE, declined to comment on the subject. Essel did not respond till the time of going to press. IL&FS said they have no knowledge of any such deal.
The Adani Group has also roped in Krishna Prakash Maheshwari, former CEO of Essel Highways, the road development arm of Essel Infraprojects. Maheshwari is an industry veteran with over two decades of experience in infrastructure. Notably, earlier in his career, he led the integrated environment infrastructure business of the erstwhile United Phosphorus (UPL), now Tatva Global Environment. He has also been the CEO of Reliance Infrastructure’s metro business, which set up Mumbai Metro Line 1, the first PPP in the metro sector, as well as the Delhi Airport Metro Express.
The Adani Group has shown interest in roads with its non-banking financial arm, Adani Capital, having invested Rs 100 crore in December 2017 in Hyderabad-based BSCPL Infrastructure. Formerly known as B Seenaiah & Company (Projects), BSCPL is promoted by Bollineni Krishnaiah, a former Congress MLA from Nellore in Andhra Pradesh.