Adani, Torrent submit expressions of interest for South East UP Power Transmission

Adani, Torrent submit expressions of interest for South East UP Power Transmission

NEW DELHI: Adani and Torrent Group have submitted expressions of interest (EoIs) to buy South East UP Power Transmission Company after its owner, Isolux Corsan, filed for bankruptcy in Spain and informed Indian lenders of its inability to continue to finance the local affiliate, according to sources.

The enterprise value of the local affiliate’s business is pegged at around 6,000 crore, they said.

Isolux Corsan had won a 35-year concession to build 1,600 km of power transmission network in Uttar Pradesh in 2011. It had borrowed 4,500 crore from local lenders to fund the construction.

Unable to service the loans after it filed for bankruptcy, the Spanish company is said to have requested the Indian lenders to take necessary steps towards recovery.

Bidding is expected to intensify as Anil Agarwal’s Sterlite Power, Hyderabad’s Megha Engineering and sovereign wealth funds are expected to join the process after they sounded out lenders about their intent.

The EoI deadline has been extended by one month to accommodate the late bidders, according to people in the know. The earlier deadline was March 5.

South East UP Power Transmission Company was admitted for Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) proceedings by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on July 16 on the request of its largest creditors, Power Finance Corporation and Axis Bank.

Email queries sent to Adani and Torrent Group remained unanswered till as of press time.

The transmission infrastructure is partially complete. The Madrid-based company has built lines and sub-stations within a 600 km stretch near Aligarh, in Uttar Pradesh, which are already operational. Of the remaining infrastructure of around 1,000 km, about 30% has been completed.

Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited, or UPPCL, which is the master discom in the state, pays South East UP Power Transmission Company for carrying the power, as per the terms of the concessions agreement.

Deal activity in the power transmission sector has been on the rise. KKR-owned Ingrid acquired 448 km of transmission assets from Sterlite Power for 4,625 crore over the weekend. Power Grid Corporation has also put up 7,000 crore worth of assets for sale through an Invit.

In November, Adani paid 1,300 crore to acquire 325 km of transmission infrastructure from Kalpataru Group in West Bengal in the middle of the pandemic. This was on the back of a big investment by Qatar Investment Authority which purchased a 25.1% stake from Adani Transmission Ltd in Adani Electricity Mumbai Ltd, the city’s discom, for 3,200 crore.

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