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November 30, 2023

Adani Ports & SEZ wins bid for Karaikal Port on India’s east coast

According to individuals with knowledge of the situation, Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) has won the bid for Karaikal Port in Puducherry, the union territory of India, for around Rs11 billion ($130 million).

Sources claim that APSEZ’s proposal was higher than the Vedanta group’s. Through this agreement, APSEZ will increase its footprint along the country’s eastern coast. The Andhra Pradesh ports of Gangavaram and Krishnapatnam were purchased by APSEZ in the previous two years. Additionally, it runs the ports or terminals in Visakhapatnam, Kattupalli, Ennore, and Dhamra.

APSEZ has a 538 million tonnes per year (mtpa) installed capacity, of which 203 mtpa are on the east coast. According to the requirements of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, bids for the Karaikal port were called. The APSEZ’s offer was accepted last week by the port’s lenders.

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) must now approve the deal before it can receive the go-ahead. Defaulting on loans totaling Rs29.6 billion ($360 million), the port was placed under insolvency proceedings in April.

Karaikal Port, an all-weather deep-water port, was created through a public-private collaboration in a build, operate, and transfer mode (PPP). The port, which was constructed over 600 acres and opened for business in April 2009, handles a variety of cargo, including coal, sugar, cement, fertilisers, agricultural products, and liquid cargo. Chennai-based MARG has a 45% interest in Karaikal Port Private Limited (KPPL), while four private equity funds hold a 44% stake.

The equity funds are Ascent Capital Advisors India Private Limited, Jacob Ballas Capital India Private Limited, Affirma Capital India, and GIP India. In the first half of the present fiscal year, APSEZ’s ports on the country’s west coast handled 63% of cargo while those on the east coast handled 37%. In November, APSEZ and Gadot Chemical Terminals formed a new JV to buy Haifa Port in Israel.

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