Australia's biggest construction firm Leighton Holding has agreed to sell 35 per cent of its Indian business to a privately held unit of the $3 billion diversified conglomerate Welspun Group, for Rs469 crore ($104 million).
Welspun Infra Projects Pvt Ltd, a closely held entity of Welspun Group has acquired the stake in Leighton Contractors (India) Pvt. Ltd, the Indian operations of Leighton Holding's subsidiary Leighton International.
Leighton, which has been operating in India since 2003, needed an Indian partner to capitalise on the huge opportunities in the potential $500 billion Indian infrastructure sector.
''Having a local partner clearly provides greater access to the market, particularly when Welspun has such a complementary portfolio of businesses. We see them (Welspun) as a very complementary strategic partner to Leighton International and are optimistic about pursuing many new opportunities together,'' said Leighton chief executive officer elect David Stewart.
According to Welspun, the partnership will pursue a range of opportunities across the infrastructure sector, including transport and power sector projects.
In India, at least $110 billion has been identified as investment necessary to improve road and rail infrastructure, with $30 billion targeted to be raised by the private sector, according to Leighton Holdings' COO, David Savage.