Banking News

GMR highways fundraising: GMR Highways raises Rs 700 cr debt to prepay Yes Bank


GMR Highways has raised ₹700 crore debt from foreign portfolio investors Zeal Global Opportunities Fund and Nova Global Opportunities Fund to prepay loans raised from Yes Bank, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

Both invested ₹350 crore each in secured, unlisted and unrated bonds of GMR Highways maturing on February 20, 2028.

The bonds have been issued at 14% per annum for 48 months. The company has pledged 100% of its equity shares, and the parent company, GMR Power & Urban Infra, has provided a corporate guarantee.

-The bonds can be redeemed any time after the end of 24 months or in case of a default.

GMR Group and Yes Bank did not respond to ET’s queries till press time.

Zeal Global Opportunities Fund and Nova Global Opportunities Fund could not be reached for comment.In 2018-19, the company raised an eight-year term loan from Yes Bank wherein it pledged a 23.5% stake in GMR Airports and 20% of GMR Energy with a private lender, according to GMR Highways’ annual report for 2022-23. Besides, GMR Infrastructure provided an unconditional guarantee to Yes Bank. The outstanding stood at ₹624 crore, as of March 31, 2023, according to the annual report.The private lender will release these share pledges of GMR Airport and GMR Energy since the entire loan of GMR Highways is prepaid, said one of the persons cited earlier.

Yes Bank had provided an eight-year term loan maturing in 2026 at a 3.20% spread over the bank’s one-year marginal cost lending rate (MCLR), as per the annual report. Yes Bank’s MCLR presently stands at 10.50% and the rate to GMR Highways works out at 13.70%.

GMR group is paying a marginally high rate to new debt investors so that the share pledge of GMR Airport is released, in line with the organisation’s strategy to ring-fence the airport business from the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) business.

GMR Highways has completed nine highway projects, and currently, it has four operational road projects spanning 1,824 km which are managed through different special purpose vehicles, according to a report by Brickworks Ratings. It has plans to bid for new road projects in the near future to scale up its operations, the rating agency said in a report dated January 8.

In the first week of February, the board of GMR Highways passed a resolution to raise ₹700 crore bonds to refinance existing loans and onward lending of group companies, said the people cited earlier.


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