GMR unit claims $803M in damages from Maldives govt for terminating airport contract

GMR Infrastructure Limited’s subsidiary GMR Male International Airport Ltd (GMIAL) has submitted claims for damages worth $803 million from the Maldives government for wrongfully terminating its contract for modernisation of Male International airport in 2012, according to a press statement.

A plea for award of further damages for loss of reputation caused to GMR as a consequence of wrongful repudiation of the Concession Agreement has also been made to the Arbitral Tribunal in Singapore and the quantification of the damages is subject to expert evidence, the Indian firm said in the release.

GMIAL had signed a concession agreement with the government of Maldives and MACL for the $500 million modernisation and operation of Ibrahim Nasir International Airport in 2010.

However, the Maldives government terminated the contract and subsequently started off arbitration proceedings on November 29, 2012, seeking a declaration that the concession agreement was void ab initio. GMIAL had disputed this termination.

After detailed proceedings lasting more than 18 months, the Singapore-based tribunal in June this year declared that the concession agreement was valid. The tribunal said that Maldives government and MACL should pay GMR $4 million of compensation within 42 days.

Meanwhile, GMR Infrastructure is also in the process of raising funds through a rights issue.

GMR Infrastructure, a part of GMR Group, runs airports in Hyderabad and New Delhi. It undertakes the development of the infrastructure projects through its various subsidiaries.

On Friday, shares of the GMR Infrastructure closed at Rs 20.15, up 0.25 per cent on the BSE, in a strong Mumbai market.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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