Nagarjuna to leverage port, eyeing 7,000-acre SEZ

Nagarjuna to leverage port, eyeing 7,000-acre SEZ
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First Published: Thu, May 31 2007. 12 40 AM IST
Updated: Thu, May 31 2007. 12 40 AM IST
New delhi/Hyderabad: A consortium comprising Nagarjuna Construction Co. Ltd, Satyam group’s Maytas Infra Pvt Ltd, SREI Infrastructure Finance Ltd and Sarat Chatterjee & Co Pvt. Ltd plan to develop a 7,000 acre (2,800 hectares) special economic zone (SEZ), among the largest in the country, next to the Machilipatnam port in Andhra Pradesh.
The consortium recently won the bid to develop the all-weather deep water port near Vijayawada at an estimated project cost of Rs1,500 crore. A special purpose vehicle would develop the sea port on build, own, operate and transfer basis.
“Along with the sea port we are planning to develop 7,000 acres of government land as SEZ which is going to be given to us on a lease basis by the Andhra Pradesh government. The land is going to be given to us and is a part of the port package and part of the tender document,” Y.D. Murthy, senior vice-president, finance, at Nagarjuna.
The multi-product SEZ would be developed by the consortium in which Nagarjuna Construction Co. (NCC) has a 25% equity stake, Maytas has 26%, SREI has 38% and Sarat, 11%.
The initial plans are to develop the SEZ for export oriented industries and a power project based on imported coal.
“Plans are yet to be finalized. We will develop the SEZ and give it to the industries. We may also set up the power project on our own or give it to a power project developer,” said Murthy.
“We are still working on the detailed project report. It will be over in three to four months and only then can I give the numbers (in terms of investment)”.
The port project would involve a 3:1 debt-equity ratio. For the Rs1,125 crore of debt, NCC is currently in talks with several banks and financial institutions, including SBI Capital Markets, Citibank and Standard Chartered Bank.
“The plans for SEZ and sea ort are a logical extension of business for NCC,” said Nitin A. Khandkar, senior vice-president, research at Keynote Capitals Ltd.
“Debt equity ratio, which is comfortably below one currently, would deteriorate as a result of the incremental borrowings for these projects. (But), by and large, these projects can lead to substantial value creation for shareholders over a period of time.”
The company believes that it has the strategic advantage as the port will be the closest one to Hyderabad. “It is also strategically located between Chennai in South and Vizag in the North,” says Murthy.
To part finance the sea port, BOT road projects and capital equipment, NCC is planning to tap the capital market to raise $180-million by reducing the promoters holding in the company from 26% to 23%. Following the fresh issue of equity, the holding of promoters would come down to 23% from the existing 26% on a paid-up equity of Rs41.7 crore. At present, FIIs hold around 30%, mutual funds 14%, investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala 8%, ICICI 4%, while the public holds the balance.
“We have got the approval of the share holders for a QIB (Qualified Institutional Buyer) of $180 million, we are waiting for the opportune moment to go to the market to raise the money. We expect to do it sometime in July or August,” Murthy added. Keynote’s Khandkar says it is still not clear if the promoters “intend to maintain stake through issue of warrants to themselves.”
NCC reported revenue of Rs2,900 crore for the year ended March, up from Rs1,842.47 crore the year before, registering a growth of 57% over the previous year.
The company posted a net profit of Rs151.91 crore in the year, up 46% from Rs103.90 crore the previous year.
NCC shares fell 6.07% to close at Rs159.30 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, well below the 52-week high of Rs236.
utpal.b@livemint.com
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First Published: Thu, May 31 2007. 12 40 AM IST
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