JPMorgan invests $110m in Indian developer

JPMorgan Asset Management has committed $110m to Soma Group, a Hyderabad-based firm which constructs highway, energy and other infrastructure projects. 3i also committed about $100m to Soma in 2007.

JPMorgan Asset Management has agreed to invest about $110 million in Soma Group, an Indian infrastructure developer focused on roads, water and energy projects, according to a source familiar with the deal.

JPMorgan declined to comment on the transaction while Soma Group could not be reached for comment at press time. A local media report quoting legal advisors on the deal said the investment will be made in two tranches, and will give JPMorgan a minority stake in the company. 

Hyderabad-based Soma Group had 2010 profits after tax of Rs.1.6 billion (€27.7 million; $39 million), according to the firm’s most recent annual report. The company has been involved in road projects, including the Bangalore Elevated Highway and a 55-kilometre stretch of road in Andhra Pradesh known as the Adilabad Expressway.

In 2007, 3i Group also made an investment in Soma of about $100 million through the firm’s India-focused infrastructure fund.

JPMorgan's Asian Infrastructure & Related Resources Opportunity Fund closed on $858.6 million last year. The fund is focused on investments in sectors including toll roads, electricity distribution, power generation and water and wastewater treatment, according to a statement at the time of the fund's final close.  

JPMorgan Asset Management includes two parallel infrastructure groups: an Infrastructure Investments Group headquartered in New York and London, and an Asian Infrastructure Group headquartered in Hong Kong, Singapore and Mumbai, according to the firm's website.