Adani company seals Dighi Port buy

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone said it will invest ₹10,000 crore in the recently-acquired Dighi Port to develop it into a multi-cargo facility that will give the Gautam Adani-led company a beach head in Maharashtra.

APSEZ announced the completion of the acquisition of the Dighi Port for ₹705 crore, in line with the corporate insolvency resolution plan. This is the 12th port in the company’s portfolio.

“The successful acquisition of DPL adds another milestone in Adani Port’s target of creating a string of ports to increase service coverage to the entire economic hinterland of India. With our growth focus, experience, and expertise in turning around acquisitions, we are confident of making DPL value accretive for all our stakeholders,” said Karan Adani, chief executive officer of APSEZ.

The company said it will invest in upgrading and repairing the existing infrastructure and on rail and road attached to the port for easy evacuation of cargo.

“DPL will evolve as an alternative gateway to JNPT and will invite and support the development of port-based industries on the port land,” the company said.

APSEZ said the transfer of concession rights has also been approved by the Maharashtra Maritime Board and it has settled the dues of financial creditors, MMB, and other admitted costs and claims.

Adani’s takeover price means the lenders of Dighi Port will have to take a massive haircut on their dues.

Dighi Port was admitted into NCLT in 2018. Subsequently, Adani Ports, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust  and a consortium of Veritas (India) and UV Asset Reconstruction Company had submitted bids to acquire Dighi Port.

The port’s promoter Vijay Kalantri and his son owed more than ₹3,000 crore to a consortium of 18 lenders led by Bank of Baroda which later declared Kalantri a wilful defaulter.

Early last year, a tribunal gave its nod to the Adani ports resolution plan.

Adani is India’s largest port developer and operator with 12 ports and terminals — Mundra, Dahej, Tuna and Hazira in Gujarat, Dhamra in Odisha, Mormugao in Goa, Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, and Kattupalli and Ennore in Chennai and Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. It represents 24% of the country’s total port capacity.

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