Adani Group checks in for running airports, forms new company


New Delhi, Aug 4: Infrastructure czar Gautam Adani has started a new airport company and plans to run airports both in India and abroad — like the early private entrants GMR and GVK groups. The group had last year emerged as the highest bidder for six airports that Airports Authority of India (AAI) wants to run PPP way for 50 years like the ones in Delhi and Mumbai. Last month, the Cabinet had cleared leasing out Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Mangaluru airports to the Group and nod for the remaining three — Jaipur, Trivandrum, and Guwahati — is expected shortly.
“Adani Enterprises Limited has incorporated a company namely ‘Adani Airports Limited’ on August 2, 2019…. (for) acquiring, promoting, operating, maintaining, developing, designing, constructing, upgrading.. and managing airports in India and abroad,” Adani Enterprises said in a regulatory filing.
The Group has reportedly been eyeing to acquire stake in India’s second busiest airport, Mumbai’s CSIA. Both the big private players in airport sector — GMR and GVK — have significant debt. GMR had recently announced that the Tata Group, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC and SSG Capital Management will invest Rs 8,000 crore in its airport arm, valuing GMR Airports at almost Rs 22,500 crore.
The Adani Group has entered the airport sector in a big way by bidding very aggressively for the six AAI airports. AAI had invited bids for them in December 2018 and Gautam Adani’s infra major Adani Group had emerged as the highest bidder in all these six airports.
Adani’s per-passenger fee (PPF, the bidding criteria for the six airports) was the highest for all the six airports at Rs 177 for Ahmedabad; Rs 171 for Lucknow and Rs 115 for Mangalore. For the remaining three airports whose proposal for leasing out will be next considered by the Cabinet, Adani’s PPF was similarly highest at Rs 174 for Jaipur; Rs 168 for Trivandrum Rs 168 and Rs 160 for Guwahati.
The PPF bid amounts shows how aggressively the Adani Group bid for the airports. Adani’s foray into airport will now mean India has more private sector biggies in the field which so far was dominated by the GMR (Delhi and Hyderabad) and GVK (Mumbai and till some years back Bangalore).