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Adani completes purchase of stressed Dighi Port, earmarks investments
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Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) has completed the acquisition of Dighi Port Ltd for a consideration of Rs 650 crore under the bankruptcy law.

APSEZ also plans to invest over Rs 10,000 crore to develop the entity into a multi-cargo port.

In March last year, the National Company Law Tribunal had approved the resolution plan.

As part of the plan, Dighi has allotted 10,00,000 equity shares of Rs 10 each for cash at total consideration of Rs 1 crore to APSEZ on February 15.

Pursuant to this acquisition, APSEZ will hold 100% equity share capital of Dighi, according to an exchange disclosure.

In accordance with the plan, APSEZ also paid Rs 650 crore to financial creditors and about Rs 55 crore towards resolution-process cost and other payments.

The deal is a huge haircut for the lenders that claim dues worth Rs 3,098 crore from Dighi Port.

Incorporated on July 27, 2000, Dighi Port is located on the banks of Rajapuri Creek in the Raigad district of Maharashtra.

It is a minor port established under a 50-year concession from the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB), the Maharashtra government agency starting March 2002. The concession permits the handling of all types of cargo including liquid and containers.

The lenders group comprises operational creditors and a 16-member consortium led by Bank of India.

In March last year, VCCircle cited Vijay Kalantri, promoter, chairman and managing director of Dighi Port, as saying that the tribunal’s approval was biased.

Adani’s acquisitions

Adani Group, via its various units, has made a number of acquisitions in the energy, ports, logistics and other sectors over the past few years.

Two months back, the Odisha government scuttled the plans of billionaire Gautam Adani-controlled Adani Power Ltd to acquire a 49% stake in Odisha Power Generation Corp from New York-listed AES Corp.

Earlier in 2020, Adani Ports announced its decision to acquire a 75% stake in the Andhra Pradesh-based Krishnapatnam Port Company Ltd for an enterprise value of Rs 13,572 crore ($1.9 billion).

It was Adani’s single-biggest acquisition move that will help its market share grow from 22% to 27%.

In December 2019, the Adani-controlled port firm agreed to acquire a controlling stake in Mumbai-listed Snowman Logistics Ltd from Gateway Distriparks Ltd for about Rs 296 crore.

Adani Ports has continued to expand at a rapid pace to consolidate its position as India’s biggest private-sector port operator.

Before Krishnapatnam, Adani Ports had acquired Dhamra Port in Odisha in 2014 and Kattupalli Port in Tamil Nadu in 2018.

In 2019, the Adani group snapped up GMR Chhattisgarh Energy’s 1,370 megawatt plant for an enterprise value of Rs 4,792 crore outside the insolvency process, and months after the group won the rights to run six airports across the country.

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