Adani Ports credit profile unaffected by Gangavaram Port acquisition: Fitch

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Singapore, March 12 (ANI): There is no credit impact on Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) from its proposed acquisition of a minority 31.5 per cent stake in Gangavaram Port Ltd (GPL) from Warburg Pincus Llc, according to Fitch Ratings.

The purchase price of Rs 19,500 crore will be fully funded through APSEZ’s internal accruals and cash balance. Fitch said the acquisition supports APSEZ’s port portfolio by diversifying concentration away from the west coast of India.
The company says the proportion of cargo from western and eastern coasts will shift to 60 per cent and 40 per cent respectively from 67 per cent and 33 per cent currently. APSEZ’s share of pan-India cargo volume will also increase to 30 per cent from 27 per cent, consolidating its market leadership.

GPL’s EBITDA margin of 59 per cent is lower than the 70 per cent that APSEZ records for its port operations. However, APSEZ intends to improve GPL’s profit margin by increasing operational efficiency.

Fitch said APSEZ has a strong record in turning around acquired port assets like Dhamra Port in 2014, Kattupalli Shipyard in 2015 and more recently Krishnapatnam Port Company Ltd which APSEZ acquired in October 2020.

GPL is a debt-free asset and has growth potential through expansion, new cargo types and enhanced logistics solutions.

Fitch rating case estimates that the acquisition of GPL will result in APSEZ’s consolidated EBITDA in the financial years ending March 2022 (FY22) and FY23 to increase by about 6 per cent for both years, and that net debt/EBITDAR in FY21 to FY25 will remain unchanged to stay below 5.0x, the level above which it will consider negative rating action.

APSEZ’s underlying credit profile is capped by India’s country ceiling of BBB-minus.

GPL paid-up equity share capital of 517 million shares of which 58.1 per cent are owned by D V S Raju and family — the promoter — 10.4 per cent by the state government of Andhra Pradesh and 31.5 per cent by Warburg Pincus. APSEZ is also in discussions with D V S Raju and family for their 58.1 per cent stake.

GPL is the second-largest non-major port in Andhra Pradesh on east coast of India. It has nine water berths with 64 million metric tonnes (MMT) of capacity under a concession from Andhra Pradesh that extends till 2059.

The port handled 35 MMT of cargo in FY20. GPL is an all-weather, deep water, multi-purpose port capable of handling fully laden super cape size vessels of up to 200,000 DWT. It has free hold land of around 1,800 acres and a master plan capacity for 250 MMT per annum with 31 berths for future growth. (ANI)

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