Tuesday, June 09, 2020

South African investor in Mumbai Airport moves SC in dispute with GVK

Mumbai Airport Company South Africa, a minority partner in Mumbai International Airport, has approached the Supreme Court to challenge arbitration proceedings majority partner GVK Airports Holdings has initiated against it for alleged breach of the shareholder’s agreement.
ACSA wants a person of its choice, or someone appointed by the top court, to be nominated to the three-member arbitral tribunal that GVKNSE 1.90 % has approached, people privy to the development told ET.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde has directed GVK, MIAL and Airport Authority of India to file their responses to the South African firm’s petition.
“GVK Airport Holdings has approached an arbitral tribunal comprising three former judges members along with MIAL against ACSA for alleged breach of contract in relation to the RoFR (right of first refusal) contained in the shareholders’ agreement,” a person close to the development told ET.
The tribunal is to look into ACSA’s bid to sell its stake in the Mumbai airport operator.
ACSA and Bidvest Group, another South African firm, which collectively own 23.5% stake in MIAL, are seeking to exit from the airport venture. GVK and Adani Group are in the fray to acquire their stakes.
GVK owns around 50.5% in MIAL while Airport Authority of India (AAI) holds the rest close to 26% stake.
GVK had also invoked arbitration against Bidvest before a tribunal of three former judges, which in January held that the South African investor cannot transfer its stake in MIAL pending the arbitration.
On Friday, the top court bench, which included Justices AS Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy, set the hearing of ACSA’s petition on July 8.
“We would be filing our response in the court,” said GVK Airport Holdings.
09/06/20 Maulik Vyas/Economic Times

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