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Adani, Reliance group in race for Mumbai-Pune Expressway

In what could be India's busiest stretch, sale of the toll operation rights on Mumbai-Pune Expressway could fetch at least Rs 8000 cr. SBI Capital Market has been looking for a new operator as IRB Infrastructure’s 15-year contract expired in August.

Last Updated: Oct 16, 2019, 03.46 PM IST
Along with the likes of Reliance and Adani, IRB Infrastructure and GIC are also in the fray.
MUMBAI: Adani Group and Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group are competing with a consortium of IRB Infrastructure and Government of Singapore Investment Corp (GIC) for toll operation rights on Mumbai-Pune Expressway, arguably the country’s busiest stretch.

Cube Highways and Infrastructure, a road platform backed by I Squared Capital and a few other private equity firms, is also in the fray, according to people in the know.

The Maharashtra State Road Development Corp. (MSRDC) and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) are expecting at least Rs 8k crore from sale of rights, they said.

SBI Capital Market has been mandated to find a new operator as IRB Infrastructure’s 15-year contract expired in August, ET had reported earlier.


IRB and Cube Highways declined to comment. Reliance Group and Adani didn’t respond to queries.

Mumbai-Pune Expressway, a build-operate-transfer project, contributed highest revenue of Rs 918 crore in FY19 to IRB. In revenue terms, the next was Ahmedabad-Vadodara Expressway at Rs 429 crore.

Global and domestic infrastructure developers such as Macquarie, Cube Highways and National Investment and Infrastructure Fund have also been approached, ET had reported. The winning bid is expected to be picked within a month, said people cited above.

Reliance Infrastructure owns 11 road projects with a total length of about 1,000 km on build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis. “In order to meet the huge road development targets, private participation is required more than ever before,” said a study by ratings agency Crisil and Ficci. “With reforms in the road sector continuing, private companies are expected to work along with the government and contribute majorly to the development.”
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