GMR in talks to sell 40% stake in Sabiha Gökçen International Airport

15 December 2013 (Last Updated December 15th, 2013 18:30)

India’s GMR Infrastructure is in talks to sell its 40% stake in Sabiha Gökçen International Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, in a deal worth €220m.

India's GMR Infrastructure is in talks to sell its 40% stake in Sabiha Gökçen International Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, in a deal worth €220m.

TAV Havalimanlari and Malaysia Airports Holdings are in separate talks to acquire GMR's stake, reported Reuters citing sources familiar with the matter.

Istanbul has two airports; the newly built Sabiha Gökcen International on the European side, and TAV Istanbul Ataturk Airport on the Asian side.

"GMR plans to use the some of the proceeds from the sale to lower its debt."

Malaysia Airports currently holds a 20% stake in Sabiha Gökçen International Airport and Turkish firm Limak holds a 40%.

While there were some reports that GMR had sold the stake to TAV Havalimanlari, GMR confirmed that the deal is not yet concluded.

According to GMR, right of first refusal is in progress in respect of the sale of stake.

In 2007, A consortium consisting of GMR, Malaysia Airports, and Limak had won the rights to operate the airport for 20 years for a license fee of €2.6bn.

Sabiha Gökcen has a capacity to handle 25 million passengers and reported passenger traffic of 15.34 million in 2012-13.

GMR plans to use the some of the proceeds from the sale to lower its debt, which currently stands at Rs410bn ($6.59bn).

The stake sale would have seen GMR exit from its international venture into airports.

However, a consortium of GMR Infrastructure and contractor Megawide Construction recently submitted the best bid for a project to operate and improve Mactan-Cebu International Airport in Philippines.

The consortium offered a PHP14.4bn ($325.45m) premium, which beat offers made by six other groups for the 25-year concession to operate the airport and establish one of its terminals.

GMR is expected to hold 40% stake in the Mactan-Cebu airport joint venture.