India’s Mega Infrastructure Fund Bets on Mopa Airport Investments, Eyes Deals in Tamil Nadu

Posted on 12/21/2022

On December 7, 2022, India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIFL) partnered with GMR Airports Limited (GAL), the airport business holding entity and a subsidiary of GMR Airports Infrastructure Limited, to announce a financial partnership for NIIF to invest in the equity capital of three airport projects. These include the greenfield international airports at Mopa, Goa and Bhogapuram, Andhra Pradesh. GMR Airports Limited is a partnership between India’s GMR group and Groupe ADP at 49% ownership (majority equity held by the French government). NIIFL’s Master Fund is India’s largest infrastructure fund. NIIF’s investment in Mopa airport shall be the Master Fund’s sixth investment.

GMR Goa International Airport Limited
The transaction envisages NIIF making a primary investment of INR 6.31 billion in the form of Compulsory Convertible Debenture (CCD) in GMR Goa International Airport Limited (GGIAL), a special purpose vehicle to run and operate the New Goa Airport. The transaction is subject to customary completion conditions & necessary approvals. This investment shall be NIIF’s first investment in an airport asset in the country and its first direct investment in the state of Goa.

In 2016, GMR Goa International Airport Limited was awarded the concession to develop and operate a second airport in Goa on a Design-BuildFinance-Operate-and-Transfer (DBFOT) basis. Mopa airport is a greenfield airport PPP concession awarded by a state government. The airport has already received aerodrome license and upon commissioning, shall form part of the first dual-airport system in India alongside Dabolim airport. In the first phase, Mopa International Airport shall have a design capacity of handling up to 4.4 million passengers per annum, with an ultimate capacity of up to 40 million passengers per annum.

In addition to Mopa International Airport, GMR Airports Limited is also developing the upcoming airports in Bhogapuram, Andhra Pradesh, and in Crete, Greece and awaits signing of the concession agreement of Nagpur airport, which is a brownfield project.

Tamil Nadu
On December 12, 2022, India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tamil Nadu Infrastructure Development Board (TNIDB) which outlines the various initiatives on which NIIFL will support TNIDB to help attract commercial capital into infrastructure opportunities in the state of Tamil Nadu. NIIFL will support TNIDB in identifying potential private sector investment opportunities including for asset recycling and developing greenfield and brownfield infrastructure projects in sectors such as renewable energy, roads, waste management, water, tourism and other related sectors with the objective of catalyzing capital into the state. 7 projects have been identified across departments which have the potential to attract private investments of approximately Rs. 5,000 to 6,000 crore. Work on these projects has been initiated. The Tamil Nadu Infrastructure Development Board is the nodal agency set up by Government of Tamil Nadu to coordinate and promote infrastructure development in Tamil Nadu.

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