Adani Group looks to buy GVK’S 50.5% stake in Mumbai air­port

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - - Comment - Tanya Thomas

AN AN­NOUNCE­MENT RE­GARD­ING THE DEAL IS EX­PECTED TO BE MADE IN THE COM­ING WEEKS

MUMBAI: The Adani Group is in talks to ac­quire the GVK group’s stake in Mumbai In­ter­na­tional Air­port Ltd (MIAL), PTI re­ported on Mon­day.

The group con­trolled by bil­lion­aire Gau­tam Adani plans to ac­quire the 50.5 % stake held by the GVK Group in MIAL and a fur­ther 23.5% from GVK’S mi­nor­ity part­ners—air­ports Com­pany South Africa (ACSA) and the Bid­vest group, giv­ing it ma­jor­ity con­trol of the sec­ond­bus­i­est air­port in the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to the re­port. The re­main­ing 26% stake is held by state-run Air­ports Author­ity of In­dia (AAI).

Ini­tial talks be­tween the two business groups have be­gun and a pre­lim­i­nary an­nounce­ment re­gard­ing the deal is ex­pected to be made in the com­ing weeks, ac­cord­ing to PTI.

The Adani Group had in March 2019 agreed to buy South African com­pany Bid­vest’s 13.5% stake in MIAL for ₹1,248 crore, in­di­cat­ing its in­ter­est in run­ning the air­port. GVK, how­ever, blocked the deal claim­ing the right of first re­fusal, al­though it was not able to ex­er­cise the right by mak­ing a match­ing of­fer.

In Oc­to­ber, GVK agreed to sell its 79% stake in GVK Air­port Hold­ings for ₹7,614 crore to the Abu Dhabi In­vest­ment Author­ity, Canada’s Public Sec­tor Pen­sion In­vest­ments, and state-owned Na­tional In­vest­ment and In­fra­struc­ture Fund. The agree­ment is, how­ever, still to be ex­e­cuted.

The Eco­nomic Times re­ported on Mon­day that this in­vestor con­sor­tium has agreed to give a ‘carve-out’ to the pro­mot­ers of GVK, the Reddy fam­ily, so as to al­low them to sell stake in MIAL.

GVK is be­lieved to use the pro­ceeds from this sale to re­tire the debt obli­ga­tions of its hold­ing com­pa­nies and fend off a takeover bat­tle for MIAL from the Adani group.

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