GMR Infrastructure Ltd., operator of India’s biggest airport in New Delhi, is considering selling some of its toll road assets in an initial public offering in Singapore, five people with knowledge of the matter said.
GMR may raise as much as $500 million by listing the assets as a business trust, three of the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. GMR has held talks with banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM:US)., Nomura Holdings Inc. and Standard Chartered Plc about the possible listing, the people said.
The company hasn’t decided which of the road assets would be included in the business trust, and no time frame for a sale has been set, the people said. GMR is also considering seeking a buyer for some of the assets, and would only decide on whether to pursue a business trust once the sale is completed, according to two of the people.
Selling toll roads could help GMR reduce debt that swelled 47 percent to 387 billion rupees ($7 billion) in the year through September. GMR has 10 road assets, eight of which are operational, according to a December press release. The company also operates airports and power plants.
Arun Bhagat, a Bangalore-based spokesman for GMR, declined to comment on any potential asset sales. GMR shares fell 1.8 percent to 19.45 rupees at 2 p.m. local time.
At least five Indian companies are considering raising money by listing assets in business trusts in Singapore, said the people. They declined to identify the firms. Religare Health Trust, backed by the assets of India’s second-biggest hospital company, Fortis Healthcare Ltd., raised S$511 million ($413 million) in October. Shares of the trust are little changed from the offer price.
GMR last month terminated an agreement with the National Highways Authority of India to add lanes to a 555-kilometer (345-mile) highway. After the Maldives took control of Male international airport from GMR in December, following the cancellation of a contract, the company and its lenders are owed more than $700 million in compensation, GMR said.
Some Indian companies have turned to Singapore for fundraising amid a stagnant IPO market at home. Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd., whose shareholders include Japan’s Orix Corp. and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, is planning a $250 million sale of its wind power unit in Singapore, people with knowledge of the matter said in September.
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