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NEWS Last modified on March 30, 2015

MAHB confirms planned sale of stake in Delhi International Airport

Malaysia Airport Holdings (MAHB) has confirmed that it is to sell its entire 10% stake in Delhi International Airport operator, DIAL, to GMR Airports for around $80 million.

It is believed to be selling the stake due to frustrations with the Indian legislation that limits foreign ownership of domestic companies to 49% – a law that ensures that MAHB can never exercise any control over the management of the company.

Elsewhere in India MAHB currently has an 11% interest in Hyderabad–Rajiv Gandhi International Airport operator, GHIAL, where GMR has a controlling 63% stake.

If the DIAL deal is ratified, GMR’s stake in India’s capital city gateway will rise to 64% where the other stakeholders will remain the Airport Authority of India (26%) and German airport group, Fraport (10%).

MAHB, which last year bought GMR’s 40% interest in Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökcen Airport to own the gateway outright, has invested a total of $57 million on the acquisition of its 10% interest in DIAL.

In its filing to a Malaysian stock exchange, MAHB states: "MAHB considers the proposed disposal as a strategic opportunity to crystallise its investment after realising the value of its investment in DIAL.

“MAHB has recently realigned its investment objectives to focus more on investments in companies, which it can exercise a significant degree of control over operational decision-making.

"As the existing Shareholders Agreement restricts foreign ownership in DIAL to not more 49.0%, MAHB is of the opinion that it would not be in a position to exert influence in DIAL unless it is able to own majority shareholdings in DIAL."

Under the terms of the agreement, the DIAL transaction has to be completed by April 30, 2015.

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