The Reddy’s, founder promoters of GVK, have reached out to Sajjan Jindal led JSW Group with an offer to sell their controlling stakes in their crown jewels – the two airports in Mumbai and Bangalore.
Sanjay Reddy, the group’s vice-chairman had recently met Jindal to discuss the matter according to people familiar with the developments. Reddy is also the managing director of Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL). The choice of Jindal – with no prior experience in the field – as a potential suitor has come as a surprise to most corporate peers and sector specialists, reports The Economic Times.
GVK – among the most indebted infrastructure conglomerates in the country with Rs 26,500 crore net group debt in FY15 – has been exploring several strategic options which included listing its airport vertical or sell a minority 49 per cent at its airport holding company to investors or even an outright sale of its economic interests in the Bangalore airport for months. Last year it even mandated investment banks Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs for the exercise that would have helped retire Rs 3500 crore debt in the vertical and prune group operations, already hobbled with coal-mine acquisition debt and low profitability of its power plants.