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Reliance Infra to consolidate transport businesses

Mumbai: Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra) has initiated a process to spin off a new unit, called Reliance Transport, to take care of its interests in railway, metro, airport and road projects even as the proposed listing of Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) faces what the company calls “some procedural delays” after receiving the nod from the stock market regulator.

Analysts say that the move is to generate positive investor sentiment. A Reliance Infrastructure spokesperson said, “RInfra InvIT is on track and will be launched shortly.”

A senior RInfra official told DNA Money that four of its businesses such as roads, metro, airports and railways would be consolidated into a single strategic business unit.

“We intend to go big in the transport space,” said the source, without giving any details.

At the moment, RInfra under the Reliance Airport Developers Pvt Ltd banner operates five brownfield airports in Maharashtra – at Nanded, Latur, Baramati, Yavatmal and Osmanabad. In 2009, Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) had awarded lease rights for 95 years to develop and operate these five airports.

Under its road vertical, there are 11 projects – of which seven are to be listed under the InvIT – Namakkal-Karur (Tamil Nadu), Trichy-Karur (Tamil Nadu), Salem-Ulundurpet (Tamil Nadu), Trichy-Dindigul (Tamil Nadu), Dindigul-Samayanallore (Tamil Nadu), Reengus-Jaipur (Rajasthan), Gurgaon-Faridabad (Haryana), Pune-Satara (Maharashtra), Kandla-Mundra (Gujarat) and Hosur-Krishnagiri (Tamil Nadu).

The other road projects are Kandla-Mundra (Gujarat), Pune-Satara (Maharashtra), Hosur-Krishnagiri (Tamil Nadu) and Delhi-Agra.

It has two metro companies – Mumbai Metro One Private Ltd (MMOPL) and Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Ltd (DAMEPL), the latter had gone into arbitration and has won an award from the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).

It doesn’t have any railway projects in its kitty and plans to start bagging Indian Railway projects, too.

With their need to cut debt, these changes within their internal functioning may help in reducing their consolidated debt of Rs 25,821 crore, an analyst said.

Last year, RInfra was in talks with Canada-based Brookfield to sell its entire road portfolio of 11 road projects for about Rs 8,000 crore. But the deal was called off on account of the InvIT plan.

Initially, the company planned to raise Rs 5,000 crore through the InvIT route in Q4 of 2016-17. But due to clearance-related issues, it had to drop three road projects from the InvIT and trim its size to Rs 3,000 crore. The company had earlier set a deadline of mid-June.

Source: DNA

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