Tata, GIC and SSG pick up 45 percent in GMR Airports for Rs 8,000 crore

Mumbai/New Delhi: GMR Infrastructure on Wednesday said the Tatas along with Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC and another Singaporean fund SSG Capital Management, have picked up around 45 percent stake in its airports arm for Rs 8,000 crore. The deal values GMR Airports at over Rs 17,700 crore and post-deal, the group flagship GMR Infra and subsidiaries will hold around 54 percent in the airport arm, the consortium of new investors will own the close to 45 percent and the remaining will be held by an employees welfare trust.

Of this, the Tatas will own around 20 percent by investing Rs 3,520 crore (which is around 45 percent stake of the total equity that the consortium will own in GMR Airports), GIC will pump in Rs 2,640 crore for 33 percent share of the diluted equity or 15 percent in GMR Airports and SSG will chip in with Rs 1,760 crore for a 22 percent of the diluted stake or around 10 percent in the company, GMR group told reporters. The GMR group operates the country’s largest airport in New Delhi which has an annual capacity of 70 million and the 22-million Hyderabad airport, besides Mactan-Cebu in the Philippines (with 40 percent stake) and Crete in Greece in which it controls a little under 22%.

Significantly, the Tata group, which also runs the full service airline Vistara in partnership with Singapore Airlines and the low-cost AirAsia India, enters the booming airport business at a time when the Adani group has bagged the mandate to run as many as six government-run airports for a 60 year-period through an last month. As part of this transaction, GMR Infra intends to provide an exit to existing private equity investors who hold 5.8 percent equity stake in the airport arm and most of the proceeds from sale will be used to pare the group debt of Rs 20,000 crore, Saurabh Chawla, executive director finance and strategy at GMR Infra, said.

Of the consolidated debt of Rs 20,000-crore, GMR Infra alone has about Rs 6,500 crore in its books, and GMR Airports has around Rs 2,000 crore as of the December 2018 quarter, GMR group chief financial officer Sushil Modi said. Paring of debt will help reduce consolidated finance cost by almost half from Rs 2,000 crore at the end of the last quarter, Modi said.

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