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GMR Infrastructure last week announced receipt of Rs.17,400 million (€209 million) as culmination of divestment of its 40% equity stake in Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport (ISG) to Malaysia Airports Holding Berhard (MAHB).
The transaction was executed in terms of definitive agreements signed subsequent to the exercise of Right of First Refusal by MAHB under the existing shareholders agreement of ISG, on 23 December 2013.This is the second major divestment of overseas assets by the GMR Group in over a year. This divestment helps to reduce the proportionate debt of Rs.14,120 million (€169.55 million) carried in the balance sheet as well as guarantees to an extent of Rs.22,980 million (€276.03 million).
Commenting on this transaction, G.M. Rao, Group Chairman, GMR Group said:
"This transaction signifies GMR's ability and consistent delivery in finding the best value for its assets and also to execute and complete a complex, cross boarder transaction at a time when the infrastructure segment is passing through a rough phase. GMR will continue to be a significant global airport operator with the recently won concession for developing Mactan Cebu International Airport in Philippines and will continue to add "Right Assets" to maintain sizeable levels of revenues and assets. We at GMR continue to focus on capital recycling, creating liquidity and enhance value by effective portfolio management under our ALAR (Asset Light Asset Right) Strategy. The efforts taken by the Group in recent times shall strengthen our Balance Sheet"
The consortium of Limak Holding, GMR Group and MAHB was selected as the preferred bidder for upgrading and maintaining the Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport in July 2007. The airport's new terminal was completed in a record time and was commissioned in October 2009, 12 months ahead of schedule. LGM Tourism undertakes the operation of non-aero services such ashotel, food & beverages, and lounge at the airport.
GMR's equity investment at ISG was around €71.6 million.
On December 13th, the local press reported GMR Infrastructure had entered into a definitive agreement with Turkey's TAV Airports Holdings to sell its 40% stake in Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen International Airport for €220 million. However, Malaysian Airports Holding Berhard (MAHB) exercised its right of first refusal and finally acquired the stake.
Sabiha Gokcen is one of Istanbul's two airports, located on the Asian side of the city, and handled 15.7 million passengers in the first ten months of 2013.