GVK top boss clears air on Rahul Gandhi’s ‘hijack’ allegations of Mumbai airport on Adani group
GV Sanjay Reddy, Vice Chairman of GVK said he had received ‘absolutely no pressure’ from the Adani Group or anyone else to sell Mumbai airport.
New Delhi :In response to allegations made by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in the Parliament on Tuesday, GV Sanjay Reddy, Vice Chairman of GVK, stated that he had received “absolutely no pressure” from the Adani Group or anyone else to sell the Mumbai Airport.
Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi stated in the Parliament that the Modi government “hijacked” Mumbai Airport from GVK and handed it to the Adani group.
In July 2021, Adani Airport Holdings Ltd. took over management of the Mumbai airport from GVK.
“Okay, so let me fill you in on the history of this exchange. Nearly a decade ago, when we acquired Bengaluru Airport, our airport holding company raised debt in the form of a loan. This loan was coming due around the time that we were considering raising capital through the sale of the airport. So, we were having discussions with investors, and we had already partnered with three of them “Mr. Reddy stated to NDTV.
“As a group, they have decided to invest in our company, which allowed us to make a prepayment on our debt. However, they imposed a laundry list of conditions typical of any overseas investor, and then Covid struck. Because of the airport being closed for three months, we received no money during that time. The resulting increase in financial stress prompted us to cooperate with them in an effort to close the deal as soon as possible. However, that was not the case “Mr. Reddy boasted that his multinational corporation had spent over $5 billion over the course of the previous two decades funding a wide range of enterprises.
Mr. Reddy denied any pressure from government agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation or the Enforcement Directorate, “So around the same time Gautam (Adani) bhai approached me and he said he has a lot of interest in Mumbai airport and whether we are willing to do a transaction with him at the same terms and conditions.”
Particularly addressing Mr. Gandhi’s claim in parliament that GVK was coerced into selling Mumbai Airport to the Adani group, Mr. Reddy said, “I believe that we entered into this agreement with Gautam Adani because it was in the best interest of the company. Lenders demanded payment, and nobody else put any pressure on us. I’d rather not wade into the politics of the situation, so I won’t comment on the rest of what’s being said in parliament.”
“You see, I’ve known Gautam bhai for a while, and the deal went off without a hitch because, among other things, he deals directly without bringing anyone along for the ride. He and I were alone together. To complete the closing process, we needed about a week. It was easy and uncomplicated. Due to the urgency with which we needed to settle the matter and satisfy the lenders, we did not stipulate many terms. He reassured the loan officers by promising a speedy resolution. Thus far, I’ve had a great experience working with him. We stayed true to our word, our agreement, or our compromise “Says Mr. Reddy.
Mr. Gandhi claimed in parliament on Tuesday that the government changed the rules in favour of Adani by removing the provision that said no one without experience would be involved in the development of airports.
“The government made an exception for Adani and awarded the company six airports. After that, the Indian government used the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate to take Mumbai International Airport away from GVK and give it to Adani” Rahul Gandhi stated.
GVK is responsible for a number of firsts in India, including the country’s first privately-owned power plant (in 1996), India’s first six-lane toll road project (in Rajasthan) in 2004, and India’s first privately-operated airport (in Mumbai) in 2006.