CDPQ bags Highway Project worth 2000 Cr in Odisha

Bharat Road Network Limited (BRNL) has signed an agreement with India Highway Concession Trust, an infrastructure investment organisation set up by Canadian institutional fund manager ‘Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec’ (CDPQ), for the transaction of a BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) highway project in Odisha.

The 67-kilometre highway toll road project from Bhubaneswar to Chandikhol in Odisha has now been taken over by CDPQ from BRNL. As per sources, Shree Jagannath Expressway’s enterprise value is estimated to be around Rs 1,800-2,000 crore. The project operations commenced in December 2011, with an introductory concession period of 26 years.

Bajrang Kumar Choudhary, the managing director of BRNL, said, “The transaction is in line with BRNL’s strategic plan for stakeholder value creation through portfolio assets reallocation while focusing on enhancing operational excellence and increasing financial efficiencies in existing assets. The transaction is expected to help BRNL in reducing its debts and will also provide the company with funds for reinvesting in its existing assets under construction”.

Further, BRNL released a statement which read, “The Share Purchase Agreement provides for the complete transfer of ownership of Shree Jagannath Expressway Private Limited — the special purpose vehicle (SPV) engaged in the development, operation and maintenance of the toll road”.

Commenting on the development, Emmanuel Jaclot, Executive Vice-President and Head of Infrastructure CDPQ, said, “We are thrilled with the acquisition of Shree Jagannath Expressway. It will be the first asset integrated into India’s new CDPQ-owned roads platform, which we set up and staffed in 2020. This reflects our long-term confidence and interest for the sector and more broadly, the Indian infrastructure market.”

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is an institutional investor that invests globally in financial markets, private equity, infrastructure, real estate and private debt. The company aims at debt mitigation from the deal proceeds in Odisha.

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