Struggling Indian outfit's plan to sell its Dubai JV hits buffers

IL&FS is looking to sell the robotic automated parking project at Dubai Courts
Struggling Indian outfit's plan to sell its Dubai JV hits buffers
The ITNL subsidiary-NGP venture bagged the contract for the automated car parking project at Dubai Courts in 2016.
By James Mathew
Sun 25 Aug 2019 01:29 PM

A plan by debt-ridden Indian outfit Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) to sell its joint venture in Dubai - the robotic automated parking system at Dubai Courts – has hit a wall, with the Export Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) declining to provide a no objection certificate (NoC) for the sale.

IL&FS group company IL&FS Transportation Networks Ltd (ITNL) reached an understanding in June this year with NextGen Parking (NGP), a KBW Investments company, on the stake sale under the ‘first right of refusal’ provision by the JV partner.  NGP is ITNL's partner in Park Line LLC.

The panel, under retired Supreme Court judge Justice D K Jain, who is supervising the entire debt resolution process of IL&FS Group, is also understood to have cleared the proposal on stake sale in the Dubai joint venture of ITNL.

“The sale process is stalled for now due to the refusal of Exim Bank to issue NoC for the deal to go through,” a senior federal corporate affairs ministry official told Arabian Business.

The Corporate Affairs Ministry is the nodal ministry for IL&FS, after the crisis-hit leasing major was taken over by the Indian government late last year.

A no objection certificate by all financial creditors to a venture is legally mandatory for an ownership change in that venture under Indian Company Law.

The $79 million robotic automated parking system at Dubai Courts, being implemented by Park Line LLC, is one of the world's largest automated car parking facilities.

The ITNL subsidiary-NGP venture bagged the contract for the automated car parking project at Dubai Courts in 2016.

At the time, IL&FS described it as the first Private Finance Initiative (PFI) project in the transport infrastructure sector in the UAE.

The Dubai Supreme Court project involved developing 1,232 car parking spaces along with the ancillary retail and office space of approximately 300,000 sq ft, including the Supreme Court area, on a design, build, finance, operate and transfer basis with a concession period of 30 years.

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) is the third largest shareholder in IL&FS, holding a 12.56 percent stake as per IL&FS’s 2018 annual report.

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