Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ), an arm of the Ahmedabad-based Adani Group, has agreed to acquire a strategic stake in Kattupalli Port in Tamil Nadu from L&T Shipbuilding Ltd (LTSB) a subsidiary of Larsen & Toubro Ltd, for an undisclosed amount, as per a stock market disclosure.
APSEZ, though its subsidiary Adani Kattupalli Port Pvt Ltd, has entered into an arrangement with LTSB to take over the operations of the port, which started commercial operations in January 2013.
The proposed acquisition is, however, subject to receiving approvals from the Tamil Nadu and central governments, and the port being demerged from LTSB.
Kattupalli is a deep-water all-weather port with an international container terminal located 35 kms from Chennai, Tamil Nadu and well connected to the hinterland. It has two berths with a total quay length of about 710 metres. Both the berths are equipped with six quay cranes and designed to handle container, dry bulk and break-bulk cargo.
Currently, the port has a cargo handling capacity of 1.2 million TEUs per annum and there is an environmental approval for further expansion. The port is part of a shipyard-cum-port complex that LTSB has constructed at Kattupalli with an investment of Rs 3,989 crore.
“The Kattupalli agreement is yet another step by us to continue to enable the development of the port infrastructure that is critical for our country. The Kattupalli port is a strategic complement to our Ennore Container terminal which is getting commissioned next year,” said Gautam Adani, chairman of Adani Group.
The Kattupalli Port is located adjacent to and north of Ennore Port, where APSEZ is developing the Ennore container terminal.
“Both these ports will help reduce congestion in the region and contribute to the growth of Tamil Nadu and the surrounding region,” he added.
LTSB is 97 per cent owned by L&T with Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corp holding the balance.
Adani group presently owns and operates seven ports and terminals—Mundra, Dahej, Kandla and Hazira in Gujarat; Dhamra in Orissa; Mormugao in Goa and Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. It is also developing Vizhinjam International Deepwater Seaport in Kerala.
Adani Ports’ scrip last traded at Rs 280.20, down 1.65 per cent from its previous close on BSE in a weak Mumbai market on Monday. The company counts among its shareholders Temasek.