India's L&T looking to sell stake in infrastructure unit

MUMBAI, June 25 Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:20pm EDT

MUMBAI, June 25 (Reuters) - Larsen & Toubro Ltd, India's biggest engineering conglomerate, is seeking to sell a stake in its infrastructure unit to help fund its expansion as economic growth drives demand for roads, ports and bridges.

The company is looking to sell a share in L&T Infrastructure Development Projects Ltd to share risk, Group Chief Financial Officer R. Shankar Raman said on Monday, declining to specify the size of the stake.

The group is seeking to offload a minority stake in its infrastructure arm to private equity investors or pension funds for as much as $500 million, the Business Standard reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Larsen & Toubro, which has mandated Morgan Stanley to arrange the sale, is also eyeing to tap sovereign funds such as Singapore's Temasek, according to the newspaper.

L&T Infrastructure Development Projects is currently handling projects worth 450 billion rupees ($7.9 billion), including 19 road and three port developments. Its largest contract is a 164 billion-rupee metro rail project in southern Hyderabad city, the newspaper said.

Poor infrastructure acts as a bottleneck to India's economic growth that slowed to 5.3 percent in the quarter ended March, the weakest pace in nine years. ($1 = 57.17 Indian rupees) (Writing by Ranjit Gangadharan in MUMBAI; Additional reporting Ketan Bondre; Editing by Ryan Woo)

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