Macquarie to acquire additional stake in Indian roads

The $16m deal sees the Australian firm become the majority shareholder in Gujarat Roads.

Macquarie Group has acquired an additional stake in a portfolio company which operates toll roads in India from IL&FS Transportation Networks (ITNL). 

ITNL has sold 8.3 million equity shares of Gujarat Roads and Infrastructure Company to MAIF Investments India, an investment vehicle managed by the Australian firm. 

The transaction will see a 15 percent stake in the company, worth about INR1.1 billion ($16.4 million; €14.7 million), change hands upon closure of the deal. By then, MAIF will hold 56.8 percent of the business, while ITNL will retain a 26.8 percent stake, according to a filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange. 

Macquarie acquired a 42 percent in the toll road operator in January 2015 for INR6.5 billion, according to reports. 

Gujarat Roads is not the only Indian toll road business backed by Macquarie. Other investment targets have included GMR Jadcheria Expressways, Trichy Tollways and Ashoka Concessions, according to its website. In India, the firm is also exposed to the telecommunications, energy and airport sectors. 

The transaction forms part of ITNL's efforts to raise funds to repay debt and finance new projects. The Indian group, which is looking to monetise its portfolio of operating assets, is said to be considering options ranging from partial IPOs to outright sales. 

The company is the largest BOT road asset owner in India with about 13,100 lane-km in its portfolio. It owns 31 road projects, of which 22 are operational.