GMR Infrastructure In Talks To Raise $322 Million

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Indian conglomerate GMR Infrastructure (GMRI.BO) is in advanced talks with private equity firms to raise about 15 billion rupees ($322 million) for its power unit, the Economic Times reported, citing the group’s chairman.

G.M. Rao told the newspaper the deal would be closed in the next two weeks, but did not disclose the names of the private equity firms that would provide the funds.

The group is also talking to some funds to raise $400 million for its airports division, the paper said, citing Rao.

In December, sources told Reuters GMR is in advanced talks with Singapore investment firm Temasek [TEM.UL] to raise $150 million by selling shares in its power unit. [ID:nSGE5BE01T]

The group is also holding talks with U.S. fund Carlyle and IDFC Private Equity, a unit of India’s Infrastructure Development Finance Co (IDFC.BO), but Temasek is the frontrunner, one source had said.

The proceeds from the sale will be used to partly fund the expansion plan of GMR Energy, which aims to add 6,700 megawatt of capacity over the next five years to its existing 800 megawatts, sources have told Reuters.

GMR Chief Executive Raaj Kumar had told Reuters in November the group would need about 300 billion rupees for its power projects over five years. 

A Subbarao, the group’s chief financial officer, told the Reuters India Investment Summit on Nov. 24 the group was in discussion with private equity firms and financial investors to sell shares. [ID:nBOM491918]

Bangalore-based GMR, which builds and manages airports, roads and power plants in India, has benefited from a government focus on infrastructure. Its operations outside India include power plants in Europe, Mexico and Australia, and Istanbul airport. ($1=46.6 rupees)

(Reporting by Pratish Narayanan; Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)