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30 suitors line up for IL&FS road asset sale

Tanya Thomas
The IL&FS group is undertaking a series of asset monetization programmes to pay off its ₹91,000 crore debt

Mumbai: Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS) has received over 30 expressions of interest (EOIs) for its road assets, which are being scrutinised, the infrastructure financier said on Wednesday in a press note.

The road assets, classified under IL&FS's domestic roads vertical and include the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and operation and maintenance (O&M) businesses, were put on sale as part of its debt resolution plan.

“Interest has been received from a mix of strategic and financial players. Qualifying interested bidders will then be invited to review information on the business that would be shared with them, so as to enable them to submit commercial bids,” the press note added.

The assets on the block include seven operating annuity-based road projects of about 1,774 lane km, eight operating toll-based road projects of 6,572 lane km, four under-construction road projects of 1,736 lane km, besides three other EPC and O&M businesses, and a sports complex in Thiruvananthapuram.

The proposed sale of the stakes held by the IL&FS group in these road assets may be carried out as a basket, individually, or as an undertaking, comprising all assets and businesses put on sale. The IL&FS board had appointed Arpwood Capital Pvt. Ltd and JM Financial Ltd as financial and transaction advisors, and Alvarez and Marsal as resolution consultants.

Serial debt defaults at the parent company and its subsidiaries, which triggered a liquidity squeeze in the non-banking financial sector, had prompted the government to supersede the IL&FS board of the infrastructure lender on 1 October 2018.

The group is undertaking a series of asset monetization programmes to pay off its ₹91,000 crore debt. This includes the sale of its securities business, its renewable energy assets, its roads portfolio and its EPC capabilities. All asset sales will be subject to requisite approvals, including from the National Company Law Tribunal, before the transactions are implemented.