GMR Airports Infrastructure Limited (GIL) is set to merge with unlisted GMR Airports Ltd (GAL), its joint venture with Aéroports de Paris (Groupe ADP), in the first half of next year. 

This merger would create an airport holding company listed on India’s stock exchanges, BSE and NSE.

The framework agreement to initiate the amalgamation has secured approval from the boards of GIL and French airport operator Groupe ADP, which respectively have 51% and 49% holdings in GAL.

This move is aimed at simplifying the airport holding company’s capital structure, boosting its balance sheet, and attracting new opportunities in India and South-East Asia.

Groupe ADP would hold a 45.7% stake in the merged entity.

It will invest €331m in ten-year foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCB) issued by GIL, with proceeds to be utilised to repay the Indian company’s corporate debt and settle liabilities.

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The merger awaits the clearance of the stock exchanges, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), and other statutory and regulatory authorities.

Groupe ADP chairman and CEO Augustin de Romanet said: “The operation launched today will reveal the value of our stake through an airport company listed on the Indian Stock Exchanges. This operation will enable us to fully seize the development opportunities of the Indian airport market in the coming years. With TAV Airports, a group listed in Turkey, and GMR Airports, to become listed in India by mid-2024, Groupe ADP, itself listed in Paris, will hold a unique position in the airport industry.

“It is thus initiating an original model for financing its development. As a multi-local global player, Groupe ADP pursues its ambition to create value for all stakeholders and puts decarbonisation of its operations as a common objective for all its airport platforms.”

Groupe ADP returned to profit last year with net income attributable to the group of €516m compared with losses of €248m in 2021 and €1.17bn in 2020.