GVK sells all its stake, exits BIAL

GVK sells all its stake, exits BIAL

Airport operator GVK Power and Infrastructure has sold its stake in Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) to Fairfax India Holdings Corporation. BIAL operates the Kempegowda International Airport.

GVK said on Friday it had sold the 10% stake it held for Rs 1,290 crore. GVK was in the project through its subsidiary, Bangalore Airport Infrastructure Developers Pvt Ltd (BAIDPL).

The deal is expected to be closed in July. The proceeds of the sale will reduce GVK’s debt obligations, the group said. With this transaction, Fairfax will increase its stake in BIAL to 48%, making it the single-largest investor in the airport.

In March this year, GVK had sold 33% of its stake to the Prem Watsa-backed Fairfax for a consideration of Rs 2,200 crore.“We had entered BIAL in 2010 when the airport was going through a tough phase as the capacity was severely constrained. Over the past seven years, we have worked very hard to transform BIAL into a world-class airport. The airport is now ready for another phase of expansion with a new runway and a new terminal to be constructed,” G V K Reddy, founder chairman and managing director of GVK, said in a statement.

The company will now focus on the Mumbai and Navi Mumbai airports and selectively evaluate privatisation opportunities, he added.

In 2009, GVK had acquired 12% stake in BIAL from engineering giant Larsen and Toubro (L&T) in the third busiest airport in the country.

This was followed by the purchase of a further 17% from Zurich Airport. In 2012, it hiked the stake to 43% by buying shares from Siemens Project Ventures GmbH.

In April 2016, Fairfax had bought 5% from Zurich Airport, which had offloaded its entire 17% stake in the Bengaluru airport for about Rs 315.7 crore ($48.9 million).

With this deal, the shareholding pattern of the city’s airport has completely changed. The largest shareholder of the airport is now Fairfax with 48% holding, followed by Siemens (26%), Government of Karnataka (13%) and Airports Authority of India (13%).

“One shareholder has sold his stake and another has bought it. The seller had just 10%. So, the exit will not make any impact on the operational efficiency of BIAL,” a senior official from BIAL told DH.

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