Billionaire Gautam Adani’s Adani Group has acquired the majority stake at the Mumbai International Airport. Adani now has 74 percent stake in the Chattarpati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, 50.5 percent of which has been bought from its previous operator GVK Group and 23.5 percent from other minority partners including Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), and Bidvest Group.
With this buyout, Adani is now the country’s biggest private airport operator. This is the first major airport win for Adani Group, one of the largest homegrown conglomerate who has recently entered airport operation business in India.
A success story in the Port operations including the India’s largest port in Gujarat, Adani has won contract to operate six airports under the PPP agreement from the Aviation Ministry earlier, including the airports of Jaipur and Thiruvananthapuram.
The development comes after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had charged the GVK Group with siphoning off funds totalling Rs 705 crore. It is charged with causing a loss of Rs 310 crore to the exchequer by entering into fake work contracts on the land given by the government to MIAL.
With GVK Group’s finances under strain, it has now come around to selling the stake to Adani Group. Mumbai Airport is the country’s second busiest airport.
In October, debt-laden GVK Group entered into an agreement to sell 79 per cent of its stake in GVK Airport Holdings for Rs 7,614 crore to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), Canada’s Public Sector Pension (PSP) Investments, and state-owned National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF).
With the six non-metro airports and MIAL, Adani Group will become the largest operator of airports other than state-run AAI, which runs most of the airports. Adani Enterprises in its annual report unveiled its ambition to be the largest private airport developer in the country by developing world-class infrastructure at airports, both at airside and landside, enhancing the passenger experience, creating entertainment destinations (airport village, hotels, and malls).
To achieve the aim, it also plans to increase domestic airline connectivity to new and under-served destinations, and also raise the number of flights to long-haul destinations in the West and also to South-East Asia.