Malaysia Airports to acquire Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen stake from GMR

TURKEY. Malaysia Airports Holding Berhard (MAHB) has agreed a deal with GMR Group to acquire its 40% stake in the operation of Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport. The move will give MAHB a majority 60% stake in the operation.

GMR Group said it had signed a definitive agreement with MAHB, which will pay €225 million for the stake. The agreement was signed after MAHB exercised its right of first refusal under the existing shareholders agreement.

Along with another recent divestment of an overseas (non-airport) stake, GMR said the sale would help to release approximately Rs3,500 crores (US$560 million) of capital, simultaneously reducing an estimated Rs5,000 crores (US$800.5 million) of debt.

GMR Group Chairman GM Rao said: “This transaction is yet another evidence of GMR Group’s ability to implement appropriate strategy to face the challenges of changing times.”

MAHB said the acquisition would be part of its efforts to enhance and diversify its assets and earnings base to improve its long term growth prospects. It added that the majority stake would strengthen its foothold and influence as an airport operator.

GMR and MAHB were part of a consortium which took over the operation of Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport in 2008

In order to fund the acquisition, it will make a private placement of up to 10% of the issued and paid-up share capital of MAHB.

Along with Turkish conglomerate Limak, MAHB and GMR signed an agreement with the Turkish government in 2008 to operate Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport for 20 years. An extension signed a year later meant the consortium had the right to operate the airport until 2030.

In October 2009, the airport’s new terminal, with capacity for 25 million passengers a year, was inaugurated. Limak retains its 40% stake.

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