GVK’s MIAL stake buy: Supreme Court asks tribunal to give verdict by January 27

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Published: January 14, 2020 12:25:01 AM

GVK Airport Holdings had approached the Delhi High Court in April last year seeking to restrain Bidvest from selling its 13.5% equity stake to a third party.

GVK had initiated arbitration proceedings to retrain Bid Services from transferring its shares. GVK had initiated arbitration proceedings to retrain Bid Services from transferring its shares.

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the arbitral tribunal to pronounce by January 27 its order that may decide if GVK Airport Holdings is in a position to purchase 13.5% stake of Bid Services Division (Mauritius), a subsidiary of Bidvest Group, in Mumbai International Airport (MIAL).

According to Bid Services, GVK – the majority stakeholder in MIAL – has no money to purchase its 13.5% stake. To prove bonafides, GVK should bring Rs 1,248 crore to the apex court, it said.

A Bench led by Justice R Bhanumati directed the three-member arbitral tribunal to give its judgment on or before January 27 as the deadline to sell the stake to the Adani Group is expiring on January 31. It posted the matter for further hearing on January 28, the day stake sale issue will be decided.

“Where is the money,” Justice Bhanumati asked GVK, which said that it is awaiting the tribunal’s judgment. GVK claims to have the right of first refusal (RoFR) to purchase shares under the shareholders’ agreement signed in 2006.

Senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Bid Services, argued that GVK has no money, but even then it is not allowing the company to sell its stake to Adani or any other party.

“If they (GVK) have the money to buy, let them bring the money here. If the deal is not struck before the deadline of January 31, Adani will run away. What will happen then? The share purchase agreement with Adani was entered on March 5, last year,” he said.

Bids Services “runs the risk of losing its only solvent and financially capable buyer that is Adani Properties,” as its agreement for sale of shares is set to expire soon, Rohatgi said.

GVK had initiated arbitration proceedings to retrain Bid Services from transferring its shares. The tribunal on September 15 had restrained Bid Services from disposing or transferring its shares in MIAL until the next date of hearing.

GVK Airport Holdings had approached the Delhi High Court in April last year seeking to restrain Bidvest from selling its 13.5% equity stake to a third party. The company claimed to have the ‘right of first refusal’ to purchase shares under the shareholders’ agreement signed in 2006. It had initiated a process to acquire Bid Services Division (Mauritius)’s 13.5% in MIAL during February. GVK’s offer to Bidvest was valued at Rs 1,248 crore.

The Delhi High Court had in July allowed South Africa’s Bidvest to sell its stake in MIAL to a third party, paving the way for the Adani Group to make investment in the marquee airport. Adani has been eying to pick stake in MIAL to mark its foray into the airport business.

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