Bengaluru: Taking umbrage to GVK group’s divestment plans vis-à-vis Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), energy minister D. K. Shivakumar on Saturday appealed to CM Siddaramaiah to intervene and prevent the sale of stake to any foreign entity.
Mr Shivakumar also demanded that the state government initiate immediate procedures to take control and management of KIAL in order to provide better services to passengers.
In a letter to Mr Siddaramaiah, Mr Shivakumar observed that GVK group should not be allowed to sell its remaining 10 per cent stake as the present construction of second terminal and runway work is still under progress. “Hence, the current operator must not be allowed exit,” he asserted.
Expressing his displeasure over bulk sale of stake to a foreign entity, he said “The GVK Group is looking for an exit route through sale of its stake to Canada based M/s Fairfax Group, which have already acquired 33 per cent stake in March 2017. With this, the combined foreign stake in KIAL is likely touch 74 per cent. This will surely jeopardize the country’s security as KIAL is the third busiest airport in the country after New Delhi and Mumbai,” he observed and added that Fairfax group had earlier acquired five per cent of share form M/s Zurich Airport. He also argued that provision of shareholders agreement mandates that at least one of the shareholder must have an experience and expertise in operation and maintenance of an airport. “The Fairfax group is only financial investor and has never operated any international airport. If GVK group exits by selling the stake, KIAL will be left with none among the stakeholders who have an expertise to handle the KIAL,” he said.
He accused GVK group of transferring its stake twice in last seven years and intended to divest 10 per cent further only indicates that the promoters have floated this company as trading entity instead of serving the passengers.