Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone is reportedly in advanced discussions to acquire Gopalpur Ports in Odisha from the Shapoorji Pallonji Group.
What Happened: The potential deal is valued at ₹1,100-₹1,200 crore in equity, aligning with Adani Port’s strategy to fortify its presence on both the eastern and western coasts, the Economic Times reported.
This move marks Adani Port’s sixth acquisition of a multi-purpose facility on the eastern coast, where it already commands a capacity of approximately 247 million metric tonnes. Currently undergoing due diligence, the talks involve the acquisition of a 56% stake held by SP Ports Maintenance in Gopalpur Ports, with the remaining stake owned by Orissa Stevedores (OSL).
Other Players In The Fray: Despite ongoing negotiations, the outcome remains uncertain, and alternative bidders, including JSW Infrastructure, have expressed interest in the asset. JSW Infrastructure had previously engaged in talks with the Mistry family, proposing a ₹3,000-crore enterprise valuation for the same asset.
As per a company presentation, SP Group estimates an enterprise value of $600-650 million (₹5,000 crore) for Gopalpur Port, with SP Group’s equity value ranging from $240-260 million (₹2,000 crore). The port’s long-term bank facilities, as of February, stood at ₹1,432 crore, according to credit rating firm Care Edge.
Why It Matters: The divestment of Gopalpur Ports is part of SP Group’s strategy to meet covenant terms set with lenders and debenture holders, involving the reduction of assets by March next year. The proceeds from such divestments contribute to repaying non-convertible debenture holders as part of a ₹14,300-crore, rupee-denominated zero coupon bond.
Gopalpur Port, operational since 2015, serves the steel industry, offering an all-weather deep-draft facility strategically located along the Bay of Bengal. If the acquisition by Adani Ports materializes, it further strengthen the company’s strategic facilities on the eastern coast.
Price Action: Adani Ports’ stock has been on a tear after a string of favourable events for the company as well as other Adani stocks. Last month, while concluding hearings in the Adani-Hindenburg case, the Supreme Court said it cannot expect a statutory regulator like SEBI to start issuing show-cause notices based on reports published by Hindenburg or by a news organisation. Moreover, Adani Ports, in particular, was given a clean chit by a U.S. agency.
Adani Ports shares have gained over 20% in the last five trading sessions, rising another 3.03% to hit ₹1,048.80 on Thursday.
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