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NIIF to raise half-a-billion dollars for road assets via Maiden InvIT

National Investment and Infrastructure Fund Limited (NIIF), India’s strategic investment fund, is set to launch its maiden InvIT for its road assets. It plans to raise growth capital of $500 million (₹4,000 crore) from both global and domestic investors, said multiple people aware of the development.

Initial discussions with merchant bankers have taken place and a couple of bankers will be hired soon, they said. The aggregate portfolio size of the seven roads assets would stand at approximately $2 billion, said sources. An NIIF spokesperson declined to comment.

NIIF’s Infrastructure fund – Master Fund – currently owns four road assets with a total projected FY23 EBITDA of around Rs 1,100 crore. These roads include Devanahalli Tollway in Karnataka, Dichpally Tollway in Telangana, Navayuga Quazigund Expressway in Jammu and Kashmir; and Jammu Udhampur Highway – a 64.5 km highway providing an essential link between Jammu and Srinagar.

The strategically located Devanahalli Tollway connects Bengaluru city to its airport; while Dichpally Tollway is an important link between two key industrial hubs, Hyderabad and Nagpur, and serves long distance commercial traffic.

NIIF Master Fund has also won TOT-9, a 73 km long 6-laned stretch connecting the cities of Varanasi and Pragyagraj in Uttar Pradesh. Last year, the fund had acquired GVR Ashoka Chennai Outer Ring Road in Tamil Nadu from Ashoka Concessions.

It is also completing its acquisition of Jaora Nayagaon Toll Road Company, in the State of MP, which is jointly owned by Ashoka Concessions (subsidiary of Ashoka Buildcon) and Macquarie India, owning 76% and 24% stake, respectively.

The Master Fund incubated its roads sector operating company, Athaang Infrastructure Ltd., in early 2020. Athaang manages the Master Fund’s road assets, including national and state highways, and expressways. Over time, it plans to also participate in developing greenfield projects.

As ET reported last year, NIIF is one among the contenders for acquiring assets in South India such as Navayuga Udupi Tollway in Karnataka, Thrissur Expressway in Kerala and Kotak Special Situations Fund-owned HKR Roadways in Telangana.

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