After 18 months of wrangling with moves and counter moves, Ahmedabad based ADANI group checks into Mumbai International Airport ltd-MIAL, India’s second largest in terms of number of Passengers and cargo handling.
As a precursor of the acquisition of the airport, Adani Airport Holdings-the division holding the airport business of the group will assume the Debt of the GVK group and free its subsidiaries from the guarentees to the loans availed by MIAL. AAHL then converts the loan guarentees into equity thereby acquire 50.5% of the GVK shareholding in the airport. in addition to this Adani will also acquire 23.5% equity ( 10+13.5) being held by Airport Company South Africa-ACSA and Bidvest repectively. Airport Authority of India-AAI holds the rest 26% in the aiport
Cat & Mouse Game: Ever since Adani group entered Airport business, GVK group was vary of hostile take over bid by Adani and tried to win over its minority partners ASCA and Bidvest, who got hefty offers from Adani. having armed with First right of Refusal GVK did try to buy out the two South African partners but failed to mop up the resorces for the deal. Its strategic investment deal with Abudhabi Investment Authority and Canadian Pension partners didnot materialize in time during the pandemic, forcing Hyderabad based Infra major to press the rescue button wih Adani.
Two Birds with one stone: with bagging of MIAL, Adani group got a double whammy in the form of Navi Mumbai International Airport, the upcoming airport 74% majority owned by MIAL. with Adani group’s financial muscle, Navi Mumbai project may get early financial closure for starting of construction work.
with competition commission of India already clearing the arrangement, other regulatory mandates may follow suit for the deal. However, GVK-ADIA deal may be a spanner in the arrangement, with ADIA likely challenge the scrapping of its MOU with GVK in the international court of Arbitration.
barring that minor hurdle which is unlikely to impact the immediate implementation of GVK-ADANI deal, Gautam Adani may have bagged his most prized airport asset in the form of MIAL to top up his kitty of Ahmedabad, Jaipur,Lucknow,Guwhati, Mangalore and Thiruvananthapuram airport from AAI.