By Justin Lee (Singapore)
Headquartered in Ahmedabad, Adani Group is an Indian multinational corporate comprising six publicly traded companies, with the largest being Adani Enterprises. Adani Group is India’s largest private port company as well as India’s largest producer of solar power.
As an incubator, Adani Enterprises owns 100% of its airports holding company, Adani Airport Holdings Ltd (AAHL). AAHL currently has full-ownership of Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), having acquired the shares from its previous owners GVK, Bidvest and Airports Company South Africa in August 2020.
Through the acquisition of the shares of MIAL, AAHL also obtained ownership of the concession of Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA), of which MIAL had 74% of equity.
Separately, in 2019, AAHL had secured the right to develop and modernize six airports in India – Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Mangaluru, Jaipur, Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram – for a period of 50 years.
By mid-2021, according to various media reports, preparations were being made for IPO of AAHL worth INR 25,500-29,200 crore . This would be part of a plan to separate the group’s airport business from the holding company.
Having developed a portfolio of eight airports catering at least 10% of India’s passenger traffic within two years, Adani’s forage into the airport sector appears to be swift and surprising. Yet, it is not a case of blind acquisition, but a crucial part of Adani’s growth strategy.