GMRReuters File

GMR Infrastructure, one of the biggest infra company in India, on Friday denied selling controlling stake in Hyderabad airport in a regulatory filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange. The clarification follows media reports of GMR being in talks with PE firms to sell stake in Hyderabad airport.

"We completely deny sale of controlling stake in Hyderabad Airport. We wish to submit that GMR Group has been continuously exploring opportunities to raise necessary funds for the group," GMR said in its regulatory filing to BSE on Friday.

According to a report by the Economic Times, GMR Group's business vertical GMR airport is planning to sell a controlling stake in Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi international airport. Apollo Global Management, Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund and Canada's pension giant PSP Investments are some of the private equity firms, which are in negotiations with GMR.

GMR Airport (the holding firm) owns 63 percent stake in Hyderabad International Airport Ltd.

The stake sale of the Hyderabad airport is valued between Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 5,500 crore, the Economic Times had earlier reported. In addition, Paris Aeroport, which owns the TAV airports and manages the Istanbul Ataturk International Airports, Georgia, Tunisia and Macedonia airports, has also shown interest in the stake stale.

Last month, GMR re-entered talks with Paris Aeroport as it plans to sell 49 percent stake in GMR airports. Paris Aeroport, formally known as Aeroports de Paris, is looking at global opportunities.

Sources aware of the discussion told ET that GMR plans to close one of the deals, which would give a chance to the company to recover its debt and provide exit option to its present investors.

A company spokesperson quoted by the Economic Times said "there is no definitive development. However, we are in the process of raising funds for the group to create liquidity and enhance shareholder value."

GMR under pressure

The company is reportedly looking to sell the stake at the earliest since its equation with three investors namely Standard Chartered Private Equity, SBI Macquarie Infrastructure Fund and JM Financial Old lane has gone cold. The three firms had invested Rs. 1,458 crore in 2011. Now the investors are pressurising GMR to pay the outstanding amount and let them exit or face legal consequences, ET added.

Some analysts quoted by the publication believe selling stake in Hyderabad airport as a standalone asset would be an easier transaction.

The GMR Infrastructure's stock was trading at Rs. 12.94 at around 12 p.m. on Friday, up 1.41 percent on the Bombay Stock Exchange.