India: GVK in talks for stake sale in Mumbai International Airport

The GVK group is planning to sell a minority stake in its airports holding company and has held talks with Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), AMP Capital and Global Infrastructure Partners as well as Canada Pension Plan Investment Board among other global investors.

GVK, via GVK Airport Holding, owns 50.5% in Mumbai International Airport Ltd. (MIAL), the consortium that runs the existing airport in the city and has won the bid for developing a new Rs 16,000 crore airport project, Navi Mumbai International Airport Ltd (NMIAL) on its outskirts. MIAL’s other stakeholders are Airports Company South Africa (10%), Bidvest (13.5%) and the state-run Airports Authority of India (26%).

Mumbai airport is India’s second busiest and also its most congested. It handled 48.50 million passengers in 2017-18 and holds the record for being the world’s busiest single-runway airport.

NMIAL is seen as a critical alternative to the saturated existing airport. It will be built on 1,160 hectares of land in phases and will eventually cater to 60 million passengers per year. The initial concession period is 30 years from the appointed date and is extendable for a further 10 years.
The deal, if it fructifies, will be GVK’s second divestment in its airports business. The conglomerate with interests also in energy, power, road infrastructure and mining last year sold its complete stake in the Bengaluru airport, India’s third busiest, to Fairfax Holdings owned by Prem Watsa, a Canadian-born billionaire investor of Indian origin. Fairfax bought the 54% stake in several tranches investing a total of $400 million, its largest in India yet.

Source: The Economic Times

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