Sekura Roads Ltd., Cube Highways & Infrastructure and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) is backed by Edelweiss Infrastructure are in advanced stages of negotiations to acquire Ashoka Highway Concessions for an enterprise value of Rs 5,000-6,000 crore as revenue-generating highway assets continue to get investor traction.
Ashoka’s shareholders a private equity fund jointly managed by Australia’s Macquarie Group, State Bank of India and listed entity Ashoka Buildcon are about to start a formal process to sell their stakes.
SBI Macquarie Infrastructure Investment Fund holds 34% in Ashoka Concessions, which owns a portfolio of toll-road assets across the country, Ashoka Buildcon has 66% stake in the same.
SBI Macquarie invested Rs 800 crore in Ashoka Concessions in 2012. Ashoka Concessions owns and operates six toll road projects — the Belgaum-Dharwad, Dhankuni-Kharagpur, Durg Bypass, Chhattisgarh-Maharashtra border, Bhandara Road, Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh border, Jaora-Nayagaon and Sambalpur-Baragarh highways.
A successful deal would help Macquarie to reap almost double the money it invested about seven years ago and help Ashoka Buildcon, an infrastructure and construction company, to strengthen its balance sheet. The group had consolidated debt of Rs 5,790 crore in FY19. Ashoka Concessions reported operating income of Rs 131.7 crore in FY18 compared with Rs 113.1 crore a year earlier. Net profit fell 77% to Rs 11.6 crore in this period. All six road projects have an average tolling track record of six years with established traffic density. Cumulative toll collections during the first quarter of FY19 grew 11.2% on year, aided by an upward revision in toll rates and healthy traffic as per ICRA statistics.
In February, Ashoka Concessions won a Rs 1,382 crore contract from the National Highways Authority of India to build a section of the Tumkur-Shivamogga section in Karnataka.
The company received an order worth Rs 443 crore from Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd. in Ambala division of the Northern Railway in Punjab and an order from Jharkhand Bijli Vitran Nigam Ltd. worth 169 crore for rural electrification work.