PE Firms Plan GMR Airport Deal

Three private equity funds – including SBI-Macquarie and the private equity arm of Standard Chartered PLC – are expected to invest roughly 15 billion rupees ($332 million) into GMR Airport Holdings, Reuters reported, citing a report in the Economic Times. GMR Airport Holdings is a unit of GMR Infrastructure Ltd. The funds will be used for acquisitions and new projects, Reuters said.

(Reuters) – GMR Infrastructure Ltd is likely to see three private equity firms invest close to 15 billion rupees in its unit GMR Airport Holdings, which runs the Delhi and Hyderabad airports, the Economic Times said on Thursday.

Two of the funds are SBI-Macquarie, a joint venture between India’s largest bank and the Australian investment bank; the PE arm of Standard Chartered PLC, while the third is the PE arm of a south Indian bank, according to people familiar with the development.

SBI-Macquarie Fund will invest 9 billion rupees in GMR’s unit and all three private equity firms will invest through compulsorily convertible preference shares, the report said.

The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) on Feb 11, approved GMR’s proposal to raise money from SBI-Macquarie and the other funds, the report said, quoting an unnamed FIPB official.

The company plans to use funds the airports arm may raise for acquisitions and new projects and not for its existing portfolio, chief financial officer A Subba Rao said.

GMR Infra has a net debt of 153 billion rupees and interest cost on account of the Delhi airport is 900 million rupees.

GMR officials could not be immediately reached for a comment by Reuters.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose; Editing by Sunil Nair)