Logistics

Essel in talks to sell six road assets to NIIF

Varun Aggarwal Mumbai | Updated on October 15, 2019 Published on October 15, 2019

Essel Group logo   -  Website/Essel Group

Essel Infraprojects has already sold three of its road projects to Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec

The Essel Group-owned Essel Infraprojects is in advanced talks to sell six road projects to the National Infrastructure and Investment Fund (NIIF), two people aware of the development told BusinessLine.

For the Subhash Chandra-promoted Essel Group, this move will come as a big relief as it tries to reduce its massive debt load, which is currently at about ₹7,000 crore.

The group is looking at selling its non-media assets to reduce its debt and to ensure it does not lose control over its crown jewel, Zee Entertainment.

Essel Infraprojects has already sold three of its road projects to Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), Canada’s second-largest fund manager, in a deal valued at about ₹3,500 crore.

For the other six road projects, the Essel Group is expecting to make over ₹4,000 crore, people close to the development said. The deal value would include Essel Infra projects’ debt. “The entire proceeds of the sale will go into debt repayment,” said a source.

The Essel group’s promoters currently have 90 per cent of their Zee Entertainment shares pledged with creditors.

The Group recently sold 11 per cent of its pledged shares in Zee Entertainment to raise ₹4,224 crore, besides selling its solar assets for ₹1,300 crore. It has, so far, received only part payment from both the deals.

If the deal with the NIIF goes through, it will bring down the promoter debt in the group to ₹3,000 crore and give the promoters more time to bring in a strategic investor and sell a further stake in Zee Entertainment.

An Essel group spokesperson declined to comment on the development.

Published on October 15, 2019
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