Hindujas to acquire construction co; to invest $10 billion in power

The Hinduja group is buying more than 51% stake in an Indian construction company and also plans to invest $10 billion in the power sector

Diversified business group Hinduja on Monday said that it is close to acquiring an Indian construction company in a bid to secure a foothold in India's fast-growing infrastructure sector, especially roads, and also announced an investment of $10 billion (around Rs46,200 crore) in the power sector, reports PTI.

"We have shortlisted a local company which we are buying. When you have a local infrastructure company which has synergy then you can start much faster. It is an acceptable company which can be a good foothold for us to give a growth. It is well-managed," Hinduja group's global president GP Hinduja said in an interview at Davos.

"We will retain them as minority partners. The Hinduja policy is to have a minimum 51%. This company is engaged in everything (construction), in parking, roads, concessions, in bridges. But our focus will be on roads," he said, adding that the announcement would be made by 15th March.

Mr Hinduja, who was in Davos to participate in the World Economic Forum's (WEF) annual meeting, said that soon after the taking over of the Indian company, the group will announce its foreign partner, which has already been selected.

About foreign direct investment (FDI) induction programme he said, "We definitely have a programme with full focus on infrastructure including power involving 10,000MW. Finances for the 1,000MW plant at Visakhapatnam are likely to be tied up by the end of this month."

Asked how much investment is expected by the group in the power sector, he said, "Going by $1 billion for 1,000MW, we are ready to bring $10 billion for the 10,000MW once things start moving."

The group has already announced plan to invest $50 billion in power, realty, auto, healthcare and oil & gas projects in India, whose appetite for infrastructure funds is pegged at about $500 billion over the next four-five years.

"In road construction, we have synergy with the transport sector (Ashok Leyland)," Mr Hinduja said.

The group planned the construction of parking lots after acquiring the Indian firm while the foreign partner will be there for technology transfer, he added.

"For road concessions (development of toll plazas), you need a very sophisticated technology. Contractors are cheaper in India. We will bring the concession technology from outside," he said.

"In our ten verticals, for both organic and inorganic growth, there are full plans which are under implementation," he added.

Roads and transport minister Kamal Nath had recently announced that India required $50 billion to construct 20,000 km of highways and had sought a $3-billion loan from the World Bank.

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