Shapoorji Pallonji Group, a diversified business conglomerate with interests in construction, real estate, textiles, engineering goods, home appliances and shipping among others, is likely to acquire majority stake in Gopalpur port in Odisha.
Gopalpur port is the second private port in this eastern state after Dhamra, which is run by Adani group.
In 2006, the port project was won by a consortium of Orissa Stevedores Ltd (OSL), metal trading firm Sara International. This all-weather port which is being run on a build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) model, had earlier seen exit of Noble group in 2010.
According to sources in the know of the deal said Shapoorji Pallonji Group is likely to buy majority stake from Sara International with OSL holding on to its 49 percent stake.
An official of Gopalpur port, who wished not to be named, told International Business Times that discussions were going on for some time and the deal would take another two months to be sealed. He, however, declined to give any figure on valuation of the deal. Notably, any stake sale will require the state government's approval.
Operations at Gopalpur port were severely impacted due to two cyclones Phailin and Hud Hud in 2013-14. The port reopened in December last year for normal commercial operations and now has an enhanced cargo handling capacity up to 50,000 tonne from 15,000 tonne earlier.
Odisha is home to one major port- Paradip and two private ports, which handle most of the commodities and goods in eastern India.
Paradeep Port handled 76.38 million tonne of traffic in 2015-16, up 7.57 percent over the previous fiscal. It has been ranked as the second major port in terms of cargo handled after Kandla port.