Saturday, November 09, 2019

GVK gets respite in tussle with Adani on Mumbai airport

Hyderabad-based Infrastructure major GVK's tussle with the Adani group over the latter's plan to acquire the 13.5 per cent stake of Bidvest, the South African company in the Mumbai International Airport (MIAL) continues. The Bombay High Court has refused interim relief to Adani which sought to restrain the sale of the Bidvest stake to GVK or any third party.

The GVK spokesperson says that as per the arbitration tribunal's direction, it has deposited the requisite amount (around Rs 1,200 crore for the Bidvest stake) in an escrow account much before the October 31 deadline. The arbitration tribunal hearing is on November 24 in Delhi.  GVK is willing to pay Bidvest the same price it has been offered (Rs 77 per share) by Adani. In February last, it informed stock exchanges that GVK Airport Holdings Ltd, a step-down subsidiary of GVK Power & Infrastructure, has the right of first refusal to acquire 162 million equity shares of MIAL, constituting 13.5 per cent paid-up capital, from Bidvest at Rs 77 per share and subsequently raise the shareholding of the GVK Group from 50.5 per cent to 64 per cent.

While GVK seems to have made progress in getting private equity players on board, apparently Rs 7,614 crore has been committed and documents signed with PE investors, which enables GVK to pay for the Bidvest stake purchase. But for that to happen, GVK needs the court battles with Adani resolved fast.

Another challenge is resolving the notice issued by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA). Sources tell Business Today that taking off from a whistle blower complaint alleging wrong doing by the company all 11 companies of GVK have been issued notice. However, other than the airport company, for all the other companies, three years balance sheets have only been sought where as there are some questions also that need to be addressed for the airport company. The GVK spokesperson confirmed that early last month MIAL received a communication from the MCA asking for certain details/ information. "It is being furnished in normal course," the spokesperson said.
09/11/19 E Kumar Sharma/Business Today
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