The Hindu Business Line
DP World-NIIF to buy logistics unit of Kribhco for close to ₹1,000 crore
Will strengthen hinterland presence to boost volumes at its port terminals
Global port operator DP World Ltd in partnership with India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund Ltd (NIIF) is set to buy a controlling stake for close to ₹1,000 crore in Kribhco Infrastructure Ltd (KRIL), which has a licence from the Indian Railways to run container trains pan India.
Kribhco Infrastructure is a fully-owned rail logistics unit of fertiliser making cooperative society Krishak Bharti Cooperative Ltd (Kribhco). The deal intensifies consolidation in the container train logistics segment. It helps DP World boost volumes at its terminals.
KRIL offers multi-modal logistics services from its terminals/inland container depots at Hazira (near Surat in Gujarat), Hindaun City (Karauli) in Rajasthan, Pali (Rewari) in Haryana, Mohiuddinpur (Modinagar) in Uttar Pradesh and Timmapur near Hyderabad (a joint venture with CMTL). It runs eight railway rakes and 1,350 containers.
KRIL terminals are full-fledged multi-modal logistics hubs and are notified as Private Freight Terminals (PFT) by the Indian Railways providing services to both export-import and domestic sectors with value added services so as to give the customer a single window for all logistic requirements.
The ICD at Pali (Rewari) facilitates double stack container train operations which reduces cost of transportation by about 25 per cent. It’s jetty at Hazira (Surat) with a draft of 4.5 meters can be used for both rail and road movement. “The deal has already been done after final bidding and negotiations in late January, but an official announcement will be made only after meeting some financial milestones which falls in the first week of May and approval from the Railway Ministry,” a person with knowledge of the deal said, asking not to be named. KRIL offers multi-modal logistics services from its terminals/inland container depots in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, UP and at Hyderabad
It runs eight railway rakes and 1,350 containers
Rizwan Soomar CEO and MD, DP World Subcontinent and Ranadhir Reddy, CEO of KRIL, were not available for comments .
The DP World-NIIF team pipped Allcargo Logistics Ltd to emerge the top bidder for KRIL. Other contenders, including state-owned Container Corporation of India Ltd (Concor) and Adani Logistics Ltd dropped out of the race citing the “very high asking price”.
For Kribhco, KRIL had become an “under-performing” unit which was not giving commensurate
return on investments, forcing the fertiliser cooperative to look for a buyer. Last week, Adani Logistics bought eastern and northern India-focussed container train operator Innovative B2B Logistics Solutions Pvt Ltd from private equity firm True North for ₹331.50 crore, making it the largest private rail and logistics park operator.
The third buy
The KRIL acquisition will be the third by Hindustan Infralog Private Ltd (HIPL), a joint venture set up by DP World and NIIF to invest as much as $3 billion to acquire assets and develop projects in ports, terminals, logistics, transportation and related sectors.
The joint venture acquired multi-modal logistics firm Continental Warehousing Corporation (Nhava Seva) Ltd (CWCNSL) in March 2018 that helps the Dubai government-owned firm enter related logistics segments complementing its core business and boost volumes.
In October 2018, the DP WorldNIIF JV won a tender to develop and operate a Free Trade Warehousing Zone (FTWZ) on 18 hectares at India’s largest container gateway – Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT)- for $78 million.
DP World, the largest listed global port operator, has invested $1.2 billion in India since 1997 and is currently the only foreign port operator running six terminals at Mundra, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, Chennai, Kochi and Vizag with a combined capacity of over 6 million TEUs accounting for a market share of about 30 per cent of India’s annual container volumes shipped through its ports.