Cube Highways and Infrastructure I-D Pte Ltd (Cube Highways), a portfolio company of I Squared Capital, has entered into a concession agreement with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to operate an 80-km four-lane toll road connecting Neelamangala and Devihalli in Karnataka.
As part of the transaction, Cube Highways substituted the former concessionaire, Lanco Devihalli Highways (LDHL), by incorporating a new SPV, Nelamangala Devihalli Expressway (NDEPL), pursuant to the substitution rights of the senior lenders in the concession agreement.
NDEPL, an important passenger corridor linking Bengaluru to Mangaluru, has had a strong recovery in traffic and daily revenues following Covid lockdown. The project has been operational since June 2012 and was awarded as a 25-year concession after competitive bidding in 2008 to strengthen and widen a two-lane highway to a four-lane configuration. The project provides connectivity to pilgrim centres in Karnataka and tourist destinations like Kodagu and Udupi.
“We are pleased to complete the first substitution transaction of this kind in the road sector in India,” said Gautam Bhandari, Director of Cube Highways and Managing Partner at I Squared Capital.
“Cube Highways’ strong record of deal closures during the pandemic is a testament to its disciplined deal making approach and operational capabilities. Cube Highways worked with NHAI and senior lenders through the economic dislocation to complete this transaction under the substitution mechanism of NHAI, setting a benchmark for such transactions in the future,” he added.