Cube Highways buys two Indian road assets
Mumbai: Singapore-based Cube Highways and Infrastructure Pte Ltd Monday said it has completed the acquisition of a 74% stake in Madhucon Agra Jaipur Expressways Ltd (MAJEL) and a 100% stake in Western UP Tollway Ltd (WUPTL).
Cube Highways is a joint venture between private equity firm I Squared Capital and International Finance Corp. (IFC), the private investment arm of World Bank. In a statement, Cube Highways, which was formed to acquire operating road assets in India, said the two acquisitions expand its portfolio to nearly 1,000 lane-kilometres.
MAJEL operates a 57km, four-lane section of National Highway 11 in Rajasthan, which is contiguous with Cube Highways’ existing investment in the 109km Jaipur Mahua Tollway Pvt. Ltd. MAJEL has been operating since May 2009 and has more than 15 years of concession life left. For Cube Highways, the acquisition of the remaining 26% stake in MAJEL is subject to approval from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
WUPTL has been operating a 77.8km, four-lane section of NH 58 since April 2011.
The announcement marks the formal completion of agreements made earlier. On 23 October, Mint reported that infrastructure firm Madhucon Infra Ltd had agreed to sell one of its road assets to Cube Highways for Rs.248 crore. On 21 January, Mint reported that NCC Ltd, along with Gayatri Projects Ltd and its unit Gayatri Infra Ventures Ltd, had agreed to sell 100% of their shareholding in Western UP Tollway Ltd to Cube Highways for Rs.575 crore.
“We look forward to increasing our participation in the Indian highways sector, especially against the backdrop of recent positive policy changes implemented by the NHAI, and are keen to acquire transportation assets that fit our investment strategy,” said Gautam Bhandari, director at Cube Highways and partner at I Squared Capital, adding that the company is in active discussions to buy controlling stakes in transportation assets.
I Squared Capital is a global private equity firm focusing on energy, utilities and transport. In 2015, it raised a $3 billion fund named ISQ Global Infrastructure Fund, one of the largest infrastructure focused private-equity funds raised in recent times.
Founded in 2012 by former Morgan Stanley executives, I Squared Capital is an independent global infrastructure investment manager focusing on energy, utilities and transport in North America, Europe and some high-growth economies.