Mumbai: Mitsubishi Corp. on Wednesday said that a Japanese consortium led by it, which includes East Nippon Expressway Co. Ltd (NEXCO East) and Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corp. for Transport and Urban Development (JOIN), has agreed to acquire a 20% stake in Cube Highways and Infrastructure Pte. Ltd.

Cube Highways is a platform set up by global infrastructure investor I Squared Capital and International Finance Corp. (IFC). The platform currently owns and operates over 1,700 lane-km of highways in India across a diverse portfolio of toll and annuity-based roads.

Last month, Cube Highways signed definitive agreements for a minority stake sale to an entity owned by sovereign wealth fund Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. Edelweiss Financial Services was the sole financial adviser to Cube Highways in both transactions. Mitsubishi’s relationship with I Squared Capital dates back to 2013 when it made a capital commitment as a strategic anchor investor for its first infrastructure fund—named ISQ Global Infrastructure Fund.

“Mitsubishi has formed a partnership with NEXCO East, one of the largest expressway operators in Japan, to invest, for the first time, in an Indian toll-road platform with the support of JOIN, a Japanese government-sponsored entity established to finance transportation infrastructure projects abroad by Japanese companies," a statement said.

According to the statement, the Japanese partnership is committed to the improvement of India’s highway infrastructure to support the continuing growth in passenger and commercial traffic, while at the same time contributing to economic development across India.

“Mitsubishi will expand its footprint to India to capture India’s strong economic growth and increase in middle-income population," the statement added.

Mitsubishi is also targeting urban development projects that integrate social and transportation infrastructure and real estate, primarily in emerging countries such as Myanmar, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam where the rapid expansion of urban populations has been driving up demand for development in these sectors.

Last week, Cube Highways said that it has entered into an agreement with IVRCL Ltd to acquire two road projects—Salem Tollways Ltd and Kumarapalayam Tollways Ltd.

Salem Tollways operates a 53.5km stretch between Salem and Kumarapalayam on National Highway 544 and Kumarapalayam Tollways operates a contiguous 48.5km stretch between Kumarapalayam and Chengapalli, in the state of Tamil Nadu.

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