International Finance

Court allows South Africa’s Bidvest to sell its Mumbai airport stake

GVK had filed an injunction to block Bidvest from selling its stake in Mumbai International Airport

The Delhi high court has allowed South Africa’s Bidvest Group to sell its stake 13.5 percent stake in the Mumbai International Airport, the Economic Times reported.

The court allowed Bidvest Group to sell its stake on the ground that GVK failed to show any willingness to buy Bidvest’s stake despite having the first rights.

Earlier, a petition was filed in the Delhi High Court by GVK Airport Holdings, a subsidiary of GVK Power and Infrastructure, to stop Bidvest Group from selling its stake.

Giving the ruling, a single-judge bench of Justice Sanjeev Narula said, “These arguments are nothing but disjointed attempts to avoid scrutiny of the court on this question. This exposes the petitioner (GVK Airport Holding) and the court can firmly say that petitioner is not ready to go forward with the transaction. There is undeniably no genuine exhibition of readiness which could show that the petitioner is serious in completing the transaction. There is not even an iota of evidence before the court to substantiate the plea of readiness.”

Earlier, GVK did exercise its Right of First Refusal (ROFR) to buy out 13.5 percent of the total paid-up share capital of Mumbai International Airport after Bidvest issued a notice. GVK then sought time till to make the payments which Bidvest refused on the grounds that another bidder was ready with the money.

If the rights were exercised, GVK’s stake in Mumbai International Airport would have gone up to 74 percent. GVK is still the major stake holder in Mumbai International Airport with 50.5 percent.

Besides the two, Airports Authority of India owns 26 percent and ACSA owns 10 percent stake in the Mumbai Airport.

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