GVK Power buys Unique’s 12% in Bangalore airport

GVK Airport Developers Pvt Ltd, GVK Power’s wholly owned subsidiary, paid Rs 484.6 crore for the acquisition. Flughafen Zuerich will continue to hold 5% stake in BIAL. Earlier in October, Unique had said it would divest 12% stake in BIAL to an existing shareholder or a new strategic partner in order to forge a strong development partnership for the next expansion. Unique will continue to remain the operator of the airport and have a board seat.

While a GVK-led consortium owns 74% in Mumbai International Airport, GVK’s stake in BIAL seems small. BIAL’s other shareholders include Siemens, Germany (40%), Larsen & Toubro (17%), Airport Authority of India (13%), and Karnataka-government owned KSIIDC (13%). Just like the other new privately-operated airports, BIAL had also faced criticism last year for the levy of user development fee, which increased the passenger’s cost of travel.

GVK Power has also entered into a strategic alliance with Unique Airports Worldwide to collaborate for new airport projects in Indian sub-continent. Unique is bullish on this business: "A synergy between a locally well-positioned and professional developer like GVKPIL and the expertise of a well-reputed and experienced international airport operator is highly advantageous. The strategic alliance with GVKPIL will boost Zurich Airport’s strategic business objective of expanding its airport activities in South Asia and will enhance its presence in India."

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