The Adani Group on Monday announced that it has acquired 74% stake in Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai. This makes the group the second largest private operator in India after the GMR group, which operates the Delhi and Hyderabad airports, according to Business Standard.

In a filing with stock exchanges, billionaire Gautam Adani’s company said it will buy 50.5% stake held by GVK Group and will take steps to acquire 23.5% stake of minority partners Airport Company of South Africa and the Bidvest Group. Airports Company South Africa and Bidvest Group hold 10% and 13.5% stake respectively of the Mumbai International Airport.

The acquisition will also give the Adanis ownership of the upcoming Navi Mumbai Airport, in which Mumbai International Airport Limited holds 74% stake.

“We would like to inform that Adani Airport Holdings Limited, the flagship holding company of Adani Group for its airports business (and a subsidiary of Adani Enterprises Limited) has entered into an agreement to acquire the debt of GVK Airport Developers Limited,” Adani Enterprises Limited said. “According to the agreement, AAHL will acquire the debt of GVK ADL from its airport lenders.”

The two firms did not provide more information on the financial details of the deal.

In March 2019, the Adani Group had agreed to acquire 13.5% stake of Bidvest Group for Rs 1,248 crore. However, GVK Group blocked the deal claiming the right of first refusal, but failed to buy stake in Bidvest, after which the matter went to court.

Adani has already won bids to operate and manage development of six airports Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Mangalore, Jaipur, Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram.

Government should not be running airports: Aviation minister

Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Sunday said the government should not be running airports and airlines amid the controversy over the Centre’s approval of grant of lease/concession on right of operation, management and development of the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport to Adani Enterprises Limited for 50 years, PTI reported.

“I can tell you from my heart the government should not be running airports and the government should not be running airline,” Puri said at a virtual meet.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has opposed the decision and said the Centre’s decision was “unilateral without giving credence to the cogent arguments” put forward by the state government, which will have to sign the agreement to handover the airport currently managed by the Airports Authority of India.

Last week, the Kerala High Court had declined to stay further proceedings in the case and adjourned a hearing to September 15.