India-based Reliance Infrastructure group has secured in-principle approval from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for the sale of the Delhi-Agra toll road to Singapore-based Cube Highways and Infrastructure for Rs36bn ($505.9m).

Under the deal, an equity payment of Rs17bn ($238.9m) will be received by Reliance Infrastructure, who will use the proceeds to cut down its debt.

The 180km Delhi-Agra toll road is a six-lane highway.

Through the ‘harmonious substitution’, the control of the toll road asset will shift to Cube Highways, who will assume responsibility for servicing the ongoing Rs190bn of the asset’s debt.

Cube Highways and Infrastructure (CUBE III) is owned by Singapore-based Global Infrastructure Fund, I Squared Capital and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

The transaction is yet to be approved by Reliance’s lenders.

Reliance Infrastructure stated that the sale of the asset is in line with its commitment to its 16 lenders on 6 July 2019, when the latter signed an Inter Creditor Agreement for the resolution of debt and granted moratorium to the company on interest and principal payments.

Commenting on the NHAI approval, a Reliance Infrastructure spokesperson said: “The sale of the Delhi-Agra toll road is the first of many liquidity events to move the company towards becoming debt-free in 2020.

“We are grateful to all our creditors and various stakeholders for having reposed their faith in the business and the management team. Cube III has the financial muscle and proven capability to successfully operate DA toll road for the entire course of the concession period until 2038.”