India: Qatar Investment Authority mulls investment in Adani’s Mumbai airport

Adani group chairman Gautam S. Adani. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Adani Airport Holdings Ltd is in advanced talks with Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) to sell a minority stake in Mumbai International Airport Ltd that it acquired last month, two people aware of the matter said.

Adani Airport, a unit of Adani Enterprises Ltd, is looking to raise $750 million from the stake sale, the first of the two people said. The Qatar fund prefers to invest directly in the Mumbai airport operator, but alternatively, it may buy a stake in parent Adani Airport, the person said on condition of anonymity.

Emails sent to the Adani group and Qatar Investment remained unanswered.

The sovereign wealth fund of Qatar is already an investor in Adani Mumbai Electricity Ltd, a division of Adani Transmission that distributes power to 3 million customers in Mumbai. The sovereign fund invested ₹3,220 crore (approximately $452 million) in the utility for a 25.1% stake in February 2020, including equity of ₹1,210 crore and subordinated debt of ₹2,010 crore.

Last month, the Adani group said it would take control of India’s second-busiest airport of Mumbai, in its biggest move yet to become a top airports operator. Adani Airport agreed to buy the debt of GVK Airport Developers Ltd, against which a 50.5% stake in MIAL was pledged. The Adani group will also buy the combined 23.5% stake held by Airport Company of South Africa (Acsa) and South Africa’s Bidvest Group in MIAL, for which it has obtained the approval of the Competition Commission of India. This would give the group a 74% stake in Mumbai airport. The remaining 26% stake remains with state-run Airports Authority of India.

The deal also gives Adani Airport a controlling stake in the Navi Mumbai International Airport being developed by GVK Group. Also, with one of India’s two most profitable international airports in its kitty and having won the development and operation rights over a 50-year lease for the Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Mangaluru, Jaipur, Thiruvananthapuram, and Guwahati airports, Adani will be the biggest private sector airport operator in India.

The Adani group had begun talks with South Africa’s Bidvest to buy out its minority stake in MIAL in 2019. A deal was, however, stonewalled by GVK, according to people aware of the matter, as the group viewed the move as an attempted hostile takeover.

Subsequently, GVK agreed with several investors—Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board, and state-backed National Investment and Infrastructure Fund—to sell a 79.1% stake in GVK Airport Holdings for ₹7,600 crore. However, the deal fell through last month, and GVK agreed to hand over control of MIAL to the Adani group.

This article was first published on livemint.com

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.