The India Development Fund, after making its first-ever investment of Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion) for a 15 per cent stake in GMR Energy, is close to investing another Rs 250 crore (Rs 2.5 billion) equity in four more core sector companies.
The IDF, promoted by the Infrastructure Development Finance Company and a consortium of banks and institutions, is in an advanced stage of negotiations with Gujarat Pipavav Port, Gujarat State Petronet, Freshways Enterprises and Ocean Sparkles for investing in these companies.
"IDF is planning to pick up between 10 per cent and 50 per cent stake in the four companies and is in an advanced stage of negotiations with these firms. The final decision would be made after completing the due-diligence," sources familiar with the development said.
"We are always interested in investing in the equity of companies, which are capable of creating world-class infrastructure." Darius Pandole, COO of the IDFC Asset Management Company, which manages the fund, said. He refused to comment further.
GPPL, originally promoted by Sea King Engineers, operates a port at Pipavav in Gujarat. Global major Maersk has emerged as the single largest shareholder with a 26 per cent stake and is now planning to hike its stake further. GPPL is planning to set up a container terminal at Pipavav at an investment of around Rs 1,000 crore (Rs 10 billion).
Gujarat State Petronet, a subsidiary of Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation, is planning to set up an intra-state pipeline network for transporting liquefied natural gas. Freshways Enterprises is setting up a cold chain for distributing fruits, while Ocean Sparkles provides pilotage and towage services to ports.
The formation of an equity fund with a corpus of Rs 1,000 crore for catalysing investments in infrastructure was announced by the finance minister in his budget speech in 2002. This fund subsequently took shape as the IDF and closed with a corpus of around Rs 843 crore (Rs 8.43 billion).The chief promoters of the fund are the IDFC, State Bank of India, Life Insurance Corporation of India, Union Bank, Bank of Baroda, Indian Overseas Bank, Punjab National Bank, Small Industrial Development Bank of India and General Insurance Corporation.