Ramky Infrastructure to sell NAM Expressway to Cube Highways

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Mumbai | Published: August 23, 2018 3:33:27 AM

Awarded in May 2010 by the Andhra Pradesh Road Development Corporation under the build-operate-transfer mode, the NAM Expressway toll project carries a concession period of 24 years.

road, highway sector, highway industryThe project was developed as a joint venture between Ramky Infrastructure and IL&FS Road Transportation Networks (ITNL), the roads development arm of infrastructure finance major IL&FS Group.

Hyderabad-based Ramky Infrastructure has decided to sell its toll road project, Narketpally Addanki Medarametala Expressway (NAMEL) to Cube Highways in a deal that could be valued at Rs 3,300-3,500 crore.

According to sources, the enterprise value of the road project, including debt, would be in that range, with Cube interested in buying Ramky’s entire stake in the project. A senior Telangana government official confirmed to FE that the state government has given its approval to the application for transfer of ownership in the project to Cube Highways.

The project was developed as a joint venture between Ramky Infrastructure and IL&FS Road Transportation Networks (ITNL), the roads development arm of infrastructure finance major IL&FS Group. On August 17, ITNL, in a note to the stock exchange, said the two companies have decided to buy each other’s assets in two of their joint ventures — NAMEL and Jorabat Shillong Expressway (JSEL), clearing the way for potentially selling both the assets.

NAMEL was constructed at a cost of Rs 1,760 crore and was funded by a term loan of Rs 1,060 crore, sponsor equity of Rs 230 crore and a government grant of Rs 470 crore, according to a report by India Ratings, the Indian arm of Fitch Ratings. Awarded in May 2010 by the Andhra Pradesh Road Development Corporation under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) mode, the NAM Expressway toll project carries a concession period of 24 years. After the division of Andhra Pradesh in 2014, the project came under the scope of the then newly-formed state of Telangana.

Backed by I Squared Capital and the International Finance Corp (IFC), Cube Highways has investors such as Mitsubishi Corp and sovereign wealth fund Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and already operates over 1,700 lane km of highways in India.

ITNL, which had a consolidated debt of Rs 36,000 crore at the end of May 2018, is also exploring the sale of some of its road assets. In an analyst call this month, the company’s management said it is in advanced stages of bundling three of its road assets for sale to one single investor.

In the past one-and-a-half months, rating companies CARE and ICRA have downgraded ITNL’s debt papers/credit facilities citing weak financials. The board of ITNL, in late July, approved a rights issue to raise `3,000 crore after its parent company authorised a Rs 8,000 crore recapitalisation plan to help the company improve its debt profile.

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