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JSW Infrastructure Ltd., a unit of tycoon Sajjan Jindal’s steel-to-cement conglomerate, is planning an initial public offering by March 2024. The Mumbai-based company, which operates seaports and terminals, will soon start the process of engaging investment bankers and professional agencies to facilitate the listing, Joint Managing Director Arun Maheshwari said in an interview. 

The firm will take a “balanced view" on geopolitical risks and inflationary pressures among other factors while deciding on the timing for the listing, he said.

He didn’t provide additional details on the possible size of the stake sale or the amount of funds it would seek to raise. Globally, there has been a slowdown in fund-raising as Russia’s war in Ukraine and rising interest rates boost volatility, sapping investor appetite for equities.

JSW Infrastructure aims to handle up to 100 million tons of cargo in the financial year that started April 1 and plans to focus on diversifying more into the container business, Maheshwari said. JSW Infrastructure does not have high leverage ratios and that bolsters its acquisition plans, he said.

“We will certainly be looking at acquisitions provided it matches our criteria of sustainability, cargo diversification and geographical diversification," Maheshwari said. Sustainability will be the primary requirement for the company’s acquisition choices, he added.

Adani Ports, part of Indian billionaire Gautam Adani’s group, has bought a slew of companies in recent years to expand its business, and handled over 300 million tonnes of cargo in the fiscal year that ended March 31.

Earlier this year, JSW Infrastructure raised $400 million via sustainability-linked bonds to repay loans and for capital expenditure.

“Even if it is attractive in terms of returns but is not ESG compliant, or has little scope for ESG development, probably we will give it a miss," Maheshwari said.

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