GMR group to list airport business, raise Rs 5,000 crore via securities

Standalone listing of the airport business will help the GMR’s airport business which earns 59.5 percent of the group’s total revenue
India’s largest airport operator, GMR, has decided to separately list its airport business. The company’s board on Thursday passed a proposal that will see the holding company, GMR Infrastructure, demerge into airport and non-airport entities.

The board also approved fund-raising of up to Rs 5,000 crore through issuing securities. Sources said the company was in talks with investment banks to launch a qualified institutional placement (QIP) before the end of this calendar year.

According to the restructuring process, the non-airport business, comprising energy, urban infrastructure, and EPC services, will be moved to GMR Power and Urban Infra Ltd (GPUIL) as a going concern. GMR Infrastructure Ltd (GIL) will turn into a pure-play airport-owning company. 

This will be the first airport company to be listed in Indian stock exchanges.

After the demerger, shares of GPUIL will be allotted to all shareholders of GMR Infra. With that, the existing shareholders of GIL will become shareholders of GPUIL in the same proportion. 

The scheme envisages issue of one additional share of Rs 5 each of GPUIL for every 10 shares in GIL of Re 1 each as on April 1, 2021. 

The standalone listing of the airport business will help the GMR’s airport operation which earns 59.5 per cent of the group’s total revenue. Separate listing of the airport and non-airport businesses will also help in simplifying the corporate holding structure, the management said.

"Over the years, GIL has grown multi-fold and with various divergent businesses housed under one holding structure. Shareholders have been suggesting to us to offer pure play listed vehicles to ride the growth trajectory of matured and scaled-up infrastructure businesses,’’ said Kiran Kumar Grandhi, MD & CEO of GMR Infra, while elaborating on the demerger of the airport and non-airport businesses.

The company had also evaluated a structure which converts the company into three entities--airport, energy and highways.

The GMR group’s airport portfolio translates into around 172 million passenger capacity in operation and under development. 

This is spread  across the country’s busiest Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Mactan Cebu International Airport in partnership with Megawide in the Philippines, besides greenfield projects under development such as Mopa in Goa and  Heraklion in Crete (Greece) in partnership with GEK Terna.

GMR Airport recently concluded a deal to sell 49 per cent stake to Paris-based Groupe ADP for an equity consideration of Rs 10,780 crore including earn-outs. The airport business has been one of the worst hit during the pandemic with footfalls coming to a near halt since the lockdown was announced in March. 

The business is recovering slowly after opening up. Indian airlines have struggled to reach 35 per cent of the pre-Covid traffic levels as flyers shun travel due to quarantine measures and fear of catching the infection.

The enabling resolution to raise Rs 5,000 crore is expected to help the company mitigate the impact of the pandemic, company officials said.

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