Singapore’s GIC invests over US$615 mn in Indian roads assets

Road developer IRB Infrastructure recently announced that Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC, is investing more than US$615 million in its road business

August 6, 2019

The investment includes the funding of future construction, deleveraging the portfolio, and funding for under-construction projects

The deal covers 5,900 km of road assets, spread over six states; The enterprise value of IRB’s road portfolio would be around US$3.1 billion

This marks the third infrastructure investment this year by GIC, after GMR’s airports business and Sterlite Power-sponsored IndiGrid

Private international investors have made major investments in India’s infrastructure, especially roadways which is seeing rapid expansion

Road developer IRB Infrastructure announced on August 6 that Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC, is investing over US$615 million in its road platform. The deal includes funding of future construction, in addition to being used for deleveraging the portfolio and equity funding for under-construction projects of the portfolio. IRB’s roads portfolio reported revenue of US$88 million in fiscal 2018-19. At the completion of construction, the enterprise value of the portfolio would be over US$3.1 billion.

This marks the third major infrastructure investment this year by the sovereign wealth fund. Firstly, in March, GIC had announced that it would be tying up with the Tata Group and Hong Kong-based SSG Capital Management to co-invest US$1.1 billion in GMR group’s airports business. Its second big infrastructure investment, in May, came in the form of a US$288 million investment in Sterlite Power Grid Ventures-sponsored IndiGrid, an Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT), along with private equity firm KKR. GIC-backed renewable energy developer Greenko is already one of the largest green energy companies in the country.

GIC’s transaction with IRB will see the latter transfer nine of its toll road assets into a private InvIT in which IRB will hold controlling stake of 51 per cent. The portfolio spans 1,200 km in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka. Three of these projects have recently become operational while the remaining six are under various stages of construction. Five of the assets under construction are 4- to 6-laning projects, where tolling and construction have already begun.

With its aggressive bets on the Indian infrastructure sector, GIC joins pension funds and other private investors from Canada, such as the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and Brookfield, which have already announced major investment plans in the infrastructure sector.

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