Adani Airport Holdings Limited (AAHL), the flagship holding company of Adani Group for its airports business and a subsidiary of Adani Enterprises Limited, has entered into an agreement to acquire the debt of GVK Airport Developers Limited, thereby getting a controlling stake in the Mumbai airport. This would also provide AAHL the group ownership of the upcoming Navi Mumbai airport, in which MIAL holds 74 per cent stake.
The acquisition will also lead to Adani Group flagship becoming the largest private operator of airports in the country after GMR Group.
GVK ADL is the holding company, through which GVK Group holds 50.50 per cent equity stake in Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), which in turns holds 74 per cent equity stake in Navi Mumbai International Airport Limited (NMIAL).
According to a company agreement, AAHL will acquire the debt of GVK ADL from its airport lenders. It will offer a stand-still to GVK, in addition to the release of the guarantee given by GVK Power and Infrastructure Limited with respect to the debt acquired by it.
The Adani Group will also take steps to complete the acquisition of a 23.5% equity stake from Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) and Bidvest in MIAL, for which it has obtained the Competition Commission of India approval. ACSA and Bidvest own 10 and 13.5 per cent stake, respectively, in the MIAL.
Upon the acquisition of GVK ADL's debt, Adani Group will take steps to obtain necessary customary and regulatory approvals to acquire the controlling interest in MIAL, the company added. "AAHL intends to infuse funds into MIAL to ensure it receives much-needed liquidity and also achieves financial closure of the Navi Mumbai International Airport to be able to commence construction," it added.
The Union cabinet had recently also approved the transfer of six airports on 50-year leases to Adani Enterprises Ltd. The Gautam Adani-led firm will take control of the airports in Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Mangaluru, Jaipur, Thiruvananthapuram, and Guwahati, meaning it will operate, maintain and develop these six airports in a public private partnership mode. The private developer had emerged as the successful bidder in a global competitive bidding conducted by the Airports Authority of India (AAI).