A consortium of Tata Group, SSG Capital Management and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC has agreed to invest Rs80bn ($1.14b) to buy a stake in India’s GMR Airports.
The deal will provide Rs10bn($14.34m) for GMR Airports. About Rs70bn ($1bn) of the airport unit’s equity shares will be purchased by the consortium from the parent GMR Infrastructure.
Following this deal, GIC will receive a 15% stake, SSG will own 10% and Tata will hold a 20% stake in GMR Airports.
GMR Infrastructure and its units will hold a 54% stake in the airport business following this transaction.
This deal takes the valuation of GMR Airports to Rs180bn ($2.58bn).
Through this transaction, Tata will enter the airport business. This move comes as the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged companies to build airfields in remote villages and towns.
GMR infrastructure has been selling assets to pay off huge debts. It had debts of $2.9bn as of December 2018.
GMR operates airports in Cebu and Hyderabad while it is developing airports in Goa and Crete.
Tata has investments in two airlines – AirAsia India and Vistara, while Adani Group secured bids last month to operate six local airports.
This deal is considered to be strategic debut for the Tata Group into the airport infrastructure business.
Tata Sons, the group’s holding company, spokesperson told LiveMint: “This is a minority stake for Tata Sons and a strategic stake in a fast-growing infrastructure sector. There is a rule that if you are in the aviation sector, then you cannot have majority stake in an airport.
“We’re still working out which Tata entity will own this stake.”
Tata may own the stake in GMR Airports through Tata Realty and Infrastructure (TRIL), which is a completely owned unit of Tata Sons, LiveMint reported, citing two industry experts.