portAdani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) is set to buy an under-construction greenfield commercial port in Kakinada and the adjoining special economic zone (SEZ) located in Thondangi mandal of East Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh.

APSEZ will fully take over the port and the SEZ from the GMR Group. The value of the deal is expected to be around Rs 2,500 crore. This could be APSEZ’s second big acquisition in the ports sector in Andhra Pradesh after the deal to buy 75 percent stake in Krishnapatnam Port Company, the entity that runs a private deep-water port at Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore district, for an enterprise value of Rs 13,500 crore.

The equity portion of the Krishnapatnam deal (excluding the debt held by the port operating company of about Rs 7,500 crore) is valued at about Rs 6,000 crore, of which APSEZ paid about Rs 4,500 crore. The twin acquisitions will help APSEZ expand its presence in Andhra Pradesh where it has limited presence now, with only a dry bulk cargo handling terminal at the Central government-owned Visakhapatnam Port Trust.

The acquisition of the upcoming Kakinada Port and the SEZ will strengthen APSEZ’s portfolio along the eastern coast where it operates ports and terminals — Dhamra in Orissa, Kattupalli and Kamarajar in Tamil Nadu and Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. Kakinada Gateway Port was awarded the rights by the Andhra Pradesh government to build and run a greenfield commercial port for a concession period of 30 years, which can be extended by 20 years.

The deal is expected to be announced after the two sides work out an arrangement to comply with the share lock-in clauses stipulated by the concession agreement for the original promoter (GMR Group).

The Kakinada SEZ industrial park is strategically located on the Vizag-Chennai Industrial Corridor in East Godavari district and offers approximately 8,521 acre of industrial land, while the commercial port will be developed over 1,811 acre.


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