Mumbai: Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa’s Fairfax India Holdings Corp. will buy a 51% stake in Saurashtra Freight Pvt. Ltd for Rs. 200 crore ($30 million). Saurashtra Freight will use the proceeds to acquire the container freight station business from group company Saurashtra Infra and Power Pvt. Ltd and for expansion. Saurashtra Group has interests in coal, steel, logistics and power, among others. The container freight station provides services such as moving containers to and from the port, stuffing/de-stuffing of containers, cargo storage and transportation of cargo to the end customer as well as storage, maintenance and repair of empty containers. Saurashtra Infra runs largest CFS at Mundra Port in Gujarat.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017. The company is strategically located in the state of Gujarat and caters to the fast-growing businesses in western and northern India,” Watsa, chairman of Fairfax India said in a statement.Logistics and cargo containerisation are the future of India, and will be a key enabler of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India initiative, he added. Saurashtra Freight managing director Raghav Agarwalla said the company will expand its operations at all the major ports across India and leverage its experience across new logistics verticals. Last month, Fairfax India said it is raising approximately $500 million by selling shares to public and through a private placement.
The company is raising $150 million by selling shares to the public and $350 million through a private placement of shares to Fairfax Financial and OMERS (Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System), the pension plan for Ontario’s municipal employees. Through its various investment vehicles, Fairfax has invested over $1 billion in India in the last one year.