Airports Company South Africa has sold its 10 percent stake in India-based Mumbai International Airport Private Limited for 6.16 billion Indian rupees, or about R1.3bn. Picture by Matthews Baloyi
Airports Company South Africa has sold its 10 percent stake in India-based Mumbai International Airport Private Limited for 6.16 billion Indian rupees, or about R1.3bn. Picture by Matthews Baloyi

Acsa sells stake in Mumbai airport for R1.3bn as it battles Covid environment

By Edward West Time of article published Feb 9, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG - AIRPORTS Company South Africa (Acsa) has sold its 10 percent stake in India-based Mumbai International Airport Private Limited (Mial) for 6.16 billion Indian rupees, or about R1.3bn, the government-owned company said yesterday.

Mial was one of two international airport investments that were owned by Acsa. The other is in Brazil, through the Guarulhos International Airport in São Paulo.

The India-based Adani Group acquired the stake, as well as a 13.5 percent stake in Mial that was owned by Bidvest's Bid Services Division, according to a report by The Hindu BusinessLine website.

Acsa made a R1.2bn profit in the year to March 31, 2020, but it warned in its annual report that the chaos to the global tourism and aviation industry that had been wreaked by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the consequent reduction in demand at airports, meant it would require new strategies and financial plans to ensure its future viability, while additional support from funders and its main shareholder the government, would be required.

It took the initial decision to sell the stake in the India airport following the demise of Jet Airways in India in February 2019, which had led to a loss of aeronautical and non-aeronautical revenues in Mumbai International Airport.

In the airport's 2019/2020 financial year, the airport generated losses of R161 million by processing 36 million passengers.

Acsa signed an agreement to sell the Mial shares in its 2020 financial year, and yesterday's sale announcement followed a legal challenge against Acsa's proposed sale by the major shareholder in the airport GVK Airports Holdings, in June last year.

The matter was amicably resolved and the proceedings were withdrawn by the parties, Acsa said in response to BR question.

Meanwhile in Brazil, the collapse of Colombian airline Avianca, Acsa's second equity investment, had a negative impact on aeronautical and non-aeronautical revenues and Guarulhos International Airport had reported a R874.4m loss and processed 44.3 million passengers in the 2019/2020 financial year.

Acsa has said that in the current Covid-19 environment, it would use and repurpose existing infrastructure and equipment until the end of their working lives; develop airports biased to investments that reduce the cost of doing business; prioritise opportunities that were adjacent and complementary to its existing business such as conference facilities, transportation nodes, cargo and logistics platforms; and put capital expenditure projects that were dependent on the increase in passenger traffic, on hold.

The equity investment in Guarulhos International Airport had not returned to profitability and Acsa intended to support its return to stability.

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