Thursday, October 20, 2022

Adani group wants to make it big into allied segments of airport business

The Adani Group is looking to get into all the allied businesses in the airport sector where it is trying to consolidate its position.

People in the know said that the group has chalked out a plan where it will try to grow the business in two ways — one by acquiring more airports and the second by moving into various segments of airport services like maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) and ground handling, duty free stores.

Adani Airport Holdings said on Tuesday that it acquired India’s oldest MRO, AirWorks, at an enterprise value of Rs 400 crore. Sources said that the group is also in talks to acquire an around 30% stake in a joint venture of Prajay Patel-owned Indamer Aviation and US based MRO company AAR corp. AAR holds a 40% stake in the MRO company. The Adani Group is in talks to acquire half the stake held by Patel.

The group is also likely to aggressively bid for AI Engineering Services (AIESL), which was the MRO unit of Air India that the government is looking to sell in the first quarter of the next fiscal year.

The Adani group didn’t respond to a query, while an email and messages sent to Patel did not elicit a response till press time Wednesday.

“India’s aircraft maintenance market is divided between three players — GMR Aero Technic, AirWorks and AIESL. But with India’s market size being small, it is heavily fragmented, and no one is able to make full utilisation of their hangar space and make money. The Adani Group is looking at a consolidation of the sector and having a meaningful presence in the sector,” said a person aware of the company’s plans.

Despite being one of the fastest growing aviation markets, around 85% of the $1.4 billion maintenance work of Indian airlines is carried out overseas, in countries like Singapore and Turkey.

20/10/22 Arindam Majumder/Economic Times

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