DP World has built up quite a presence in India managing key ports and terminals. Pictured here is the Dubai entity's flagship asset, the Jebel Ali Port. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: The Dubai ports and free zone operator DP World’s India venture has bagged a $300 million commitment from NIIF Master Fund, which will see it take up a 22.5 per cent stake in Hindustan Ports Pvt. Ltd.

Hindustan Ports is a wholly-owned subsidiary of DP World. HPPL has become one of India’s leading container terminal operators, with five locations managing more than 5 million TEU of capacity. This works out to a market share of over 20 per cent of the overall capacity in India. The DP World operated terminals are in ‘strategic growth locations’, including two in Mumbai, Mundra, Chennai and Cochin.

DP World and NIIF had been having an alliance in India since 2018. This was through the setting up of Hindustan Infralog Pvt Ltd.. Since inception, HIPL has made ‘substantial investments in rail logistics, multi-modal logistics parks, container freight stations, economic zones, cold chain infrastructure and contract logistics to create a market leading integrated logistics platform’.

“The broadening of our partnership with NIIF to include our flagship India ports platform is a natural extension of our existing relationship and aligns both parties to focus on delivering end-to-end supply chain solutions,” said Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World.

“Since the beginning of this partnership with NIIF, we have made significant progress in building an inland logistics infrastructure network of great scale that complements our container ports platform.”

Upscale to $500m

The $300 million commitment is NIIF Master Fund’s biggest to date. It would eventually be upsized to $500 million. (The transaction is subject to customary completion conditions and is expected to close by Q1-2023.)

“The deepening of our successful four-year partnership with DP World is a testament to the attractive opportunities in the Indian ports and logistics sector and and ongoing reforms under the PM Gati Shakti program," said Sujoy Bose, Managing Director and CEO, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund. "The investment will enable NIIF’s domestic and international investors to have a meaningful exposure in the sector through a unique and scalable platform with a significant presence across sea-based container terminals and land-based container logistics infrastructure."

Further India growth
DP World sees 'significant growth opportunities' within the Indian ports and logistics space. Both its entities - HIPL and HPPL - are 'suitably placed to capture these opportunities'.

"The primary capital raised through this transaction (with NIIF Master Fund) will aid in new infrastructure development, drive supply chain efficiencies and support future growth initiatives of HPPL," the statement said. "The investment in this combined entity will improve cargo connectivity which will deliver cost efficiencies and an enhanced customer experience."
DP World
Sultan Bin Sulayem of DP World: "The opportunity landscape in India remains significant and this transaction will allow us to accelerate investment across ports and logistics to drive returns for our respective stakeholders..." Image Credit: Supplied