Reliance Infra to sell cement, road businesses

Mumbai: Industrialist Anil Ambani-led Reliance Infrastructure on Wednesday said it has decided to sell its 5.8-million-tonne cement business, while initiating the process to hive off the Rs.8,800-crore investment it has made in 11 road projects across seven states.

The steps, the company said, were in tune with the renewed focus on the defence space for growth.
“The 5.8 million tonnes per annum cement business and related assets will be disposed off through a formal process. The Company has short-listed seven potential buyers from a total of 15 parties that submitted preliminary expressions of interest,” the company said.

As regards the roads projects, the company said an investment of Rs.8,800 crore had already been made in 100-percent-owned, 11 revenue-generating projects, running into 1,000 km across seven states
This, the company said, will be monetised, adding: “A formal process has been initiated and has attracted significant interest from strategic and portfolio institutional investors in India and overseas.”

Addressing the shareholders later, Ambani said: “Our capex (capital expenditure cycle) is now complete. Over Rs.30,000 crore has been spent in the last six years and all projects are operational. In the next financial year, you will see the full impact of cash flows.”

He also reiterated that defence and smart cities will be the two drivers of future growth.
The company has already announced that it is acquiring Pipavav Defence to pursue growth in this segment. Recently, it was allotted 290 acres land in Mihan, near Nagpur in Maharashtra, to make aerospace equipment and naval combat systems.

The company has also entered into a number of global pacts for strategic partnerships.
In the smart cities space, Ambani made a reference to the government notifying 100 cities under the project and said: “With our group capabilities in utilities, transport, telecom, etc we will be able to provide one stop integrated solution.

At the same time, he added, there were multiple challenges in infrastructure and public-private partnership, with major regulatory uncertainties, procedural delay, legal deadlocks and the lack of fulfillment of promises and appropriate risk-sharing mechanisms.