KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd’s joint venture (JV) unit with India’s IDFC Ltd, Uniquest Infra Ventures and SBI Macquarie Infrastructure Trust, have emerged frontrunners to invest in Bangalore-based GMR Groups’ road assets.
According to a report in India’s The Economic Times, GMR is inviting investors to put in up to RM841 million in its road projects.
“Uniquest and SBI Macquarie are clearly frontrunners. GMR is talking to other investors as well,” said the report, quoting unnamed sources.
Should the talks materialise, Uniquest and SBI Macquarie will pick up minority stakes in either the road asset holding company, GMR Highways or special purpose vehicles for the road projects, said The Economic Times.
The deals are expected to conclude in early December. All three companies declined to comment, said the report.
The funds raised will be channelled into the US$1.6 billion (RM4.88 billion) Kishangarh-Udaipur-Ahmedabad highway, linking Rajasthan and Gujarat.
Uniquest had earlier acquired a stake in Jetpur Somnath Tollways, which is currently carrying out widening works on the highway connecting Jetpur and Somnath in Gujarat.
GMR Highways has six operating assets totalling 421km, three assets totalling 309km under development, and recently won the 555km Ahmedabad- Udaipur-Kishangarh project.
GMR Holdings holds a 71.49% stake in GMR Infrastructure, which owns a 100% stake in GMR Highways Holdings.
GMR is currently in talks with several parties to offload up to 74% of in its toll-based projects.
The potential deal, however, will not be the first time GMR has linked up with a Malaysian company.
The company has partnered several times with Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd for several airport projects, including the Hyderabad International Airport and the Sabina Gocken airport in Istanbul, Turkey.