January 28, 2022

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Canadian fund CDPQ buys out Bharat Road Network’s Odisha toll road for Rs 2,100cr

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CPDQ is a Canada-based global investment group with infrastructure and other assets of over CAD 390 billion spread across 10 countries.

Mumbai: Kolkata-based road developer Bharat Road Network has sold its entire 40 per cent stake in the 67-km-long Shree Jagannath Expressway in Odisha to an arm of the marquee Canadian infrastructure-focused fund Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ) for Rs 2,100 crore, according to two sources. The Srei Group, which was sent to the NCLT by the Reserve Bank recently, owns 30 per cent in the toll road project through one of its alternate investment funds called Trinity Investment Managers.

The deal is between Bharat Road Network and India Highway Concession Trust, one of the infrastructure investment trusts set up by CDPQ in the country, one of the sources told PTI.

Both the companies did not respond to calls seeking confirmation of the sale.

The 67-km toll road from Bhubaneswar to Chandikhole in Odisha started operations in December 2011 with an initial concession period of 26 years, is given an enterprise value of Rs 2,100 crore, the second source added.

The deal, which has all the approvals barring an NHAI nod and the customary regulatory approvals, is likely to be completed anytime now, the first source said, adding Srei and other creditors would get over Rs 2,020 crore from the sale. This excludes additional claims of Rs 200 crore that are in advance stage of realization and will get added towards the overall corpus, the source added.

The sale process is set to be completed any time now or latest by early January as only the final nod from the regulators and National Highway Authority is pending now, the source said, adding all agreements have been signed.

The sale was in the making as Bharat Road Network and India Highway Concession Trust had signed a share purchase agreement in January this year.

CPDQ is a Canada-based global investment group with infrastructure and other assets of over CAD 390 billion spread across 10 countries.

Bharat Road Network develops, implements, operates and maintain roads/highways projects on a BOT basis since 2006. It has completed/exited such projects in UP, Kerala, Haryana, MP, Maharashtra and Odisha covering an 2,095 lane km of roads.

Its three operational projects are the Kurukshetra Expressway in the Rohtak-Bawal section of NH-71 in Haryana; the Mahakaleshwar Tollways on the Indore-Ujjain section of SH-27 in Madhya Pradesh; and Guruvayoor Infrastructure stretch on the Thrissur-Angamali section of NH 544 (old NH 47) in Kerala.

CDPQ is a long-term institutional investor that manages funds primarily for public and para-public pension and insurance plans. Since its founding 1n 1965, it invests globally in financial markets, private equity, infrastructure, real estate and private debt.

Its India assets include the ARC joint venture with Edelweiss with a funding of around USD 700 million since 2016, a USD 120 million investment in Azure Power and a JV with Tata Power and ICICI Venture in Resurgent Power Ventures with USD 850 million in capital.

In the logistics space it has invested USD 170 million in TVS Logistics and its subsidiary Ivanhoe has pumped in USD 400 million to Logos Group and Assetz Property Group for warehouse facilities.

In financial services, it has committed about USD 1.2 billion in the country including USD 255 million in Kotak Mahindra Bank and made investments of USD175 million in Piramal Enterprises and USD90 million in HDFC.

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The minister also informed that a total length of 6,722.31 km has been completed out of 7,245.07 km of National Highway projects under build-operate-transfer (BOT-annuity) and build-operate-transfer (BOT-Toll) mode.

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