Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Fraport makes fresh attempt to exit Delhi Airport consortium

Mumbai: German airport developer Fraport AG is making a fresh attempt to exit a GMR Infra-led consortium that runs the Delhi Airport, by selling its 10% stake in it, said two people aware of the talks.
 The latest round of talks has been on for the last four months. GMR has placed an offer on the table, but Fraport is yet to accept it, said one of the people without elaborating. Fraport has also approached the state-run National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) to buy its stake.
NIIF, along with Gulf sovereign wealth fund Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and Canada’s PSP Investments last year signed a pact with GMR’s rival GVK Group to invest Rs 7,614 crore in the latter’s airport business. GMR owns 64% in Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), while the Airports Authority of India (AAI) owns 26%. Fraport owns the remaining stake in the consortium.
 Spokespersons at GMR and Fraport said they wouldn’t comment “on speculation”. NIIF didn’t respond to queries before the story went to press. This is the latest of Fraport’s attempts in the last eight years to exit the consortium. Senior executives in the company had publicly announced its intentions of an exit in 2012.
 There had also been advanced talks for a stake sale in 2016. The attempts to exit were unsuccessful, in some instances over differences in valuation and at others over GMR’s own funding problems. Fraport picked up a stake in DIAL in 2006 as part of the consortium that won the award to develop a greenfield airport in Delhi. GMR has the right of first refusal on any exit that Fraport would plan. This means it will need a go ahead for any stake sale.
 08/01/20 Anirban Chowdhury/Economic Times
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