GMR sells 40 % stake in Istanbul airport

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GMR sells 40 % stake in Istanbul airport

GMR Infrastructure said on December 30th the company has signed a definitive agreement with Malaysian Airports Holding Berhard (MAHB) to divest 40 % equity stake in Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport (ISG) and LGM Tourism, for €225 million.

The company said the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the approval of the relevant government authorities and the project lenders to ISG.

This is the second major divestment of overseas assets by the GMR Group in less than nine months. Earlier in March 2013, the Group had divested its stakes in GMR Energy (Singapore) Pve Ltd. The divestment of these two assets is estimated to release around US$560 million of capital, simultaneously reducing an estimated US$810 million of debt.

G M Rao, Chairman of GMR Group said, the transaction is yet another evidence of GMR Group's ability to implement appropriate strategy to face the challenges of changing times. Rao said:

"We at GMR Group continue to focus on creating liquidity and enhance value by effective portfolio management under our ALAR (Asset Light Asset Right) Strategy. The efforts of the Group taken in recent times shall strengthen our Balance Sheet."

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, Malaysia 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.

The consortium of Limak Holding, GMR Group and MAHB was selected as the preferred bidder for upgrading and maintaining the airport in July 2007. GMR's equity investment at ISG is around €71.6 million.

Rothschild (India) Private Limited and White and Case LLP acted as financial advisors and legal counsels, respectively to GMR Group.

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