National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) is planning to invest up to Rs 675 crore on the upcoming greenfield international airport at Bhogapuram in Andhra Pradesh, which is being developed by the GMR group.
This marks NIIF's second airport investment, after the GMR Goa International Airport Ltd, which operates Manohar International Airport in Goa.
GMR Airports Ltd (GAL) -- a subsidiary of GMR Airports Infrastructure Ltd (GAIL) -- and NIIF have entered into binding agreements for the NIIF to invest up to Rs 6.75 billion (Rs 675 crore) in GMR Visakhapatnam International Airport Ltd (GVIAL), GMR Group said.
The transaction envisages a primary investment by NIIF in the form of Compulsorily Convertible Debentures (CCDs) to be issued by GVIAL, it said.
GVIAL -- a special purpose vehicle to develop and operate the Bhogapuram International Airport -- was in 2020 awarded the concession to develop and operate the Bhogapuram International Airport (BIA) to the north of Visakhapatnam under a 40-year design-build-finance-operate-and-transfer model.
BIA, a part of the National Infrastructure Pipeline, is poised to become the largest airport in Andhra Pradesh with a phase-I capacity of up to six million passengers a year and with an ultimate capacity of up to 40 million passengers per annum, the statement said.
The transaction is subject to customary completion of conditions precedent and necessary approvals, the company said.
This investment is part of the financial partnership announced last December between parties, in relation to investment by NIIF in the equity capital of three airport projects of GMR Airports Ltd, it said.
"NIIF's investment in GVIAL represents the Fund's second airport project, underscoring our commitment to participate in the implementation of the government's ambitious National Infrastructure Pipeline," Vinod Giri, Managing Partner for Master Fund at National Investment and Infrastructure Fund Ltd, said.
NIIF's Master Fund is India's largest infrastructure fund with a robust and well-diversified portfolio across transportation, energy and digital infrastructure, he said.
"NIIF believes that Bhogapuram International Airport will strengthen aviation infrastructure in Andhra Pradesh, playing a pivotal role in the region's economic progress in the coming years," Giri added.
The BIA project is well-positioned to boost connectivity and transportation infrastructure in northern Andhra Pradesh, GMR group said.
"We are confident that we will replicate the success of our Hyderabad Airport and the new world class airport will act as the catalyst for the socio-economic growth of the city and the state (Andhra Pradesh)," GBS Raju, Business Chairman for Airports at GMR Group, said.
"Our growing partnership with NIIF is a further testament of GMR's credibility as an airport infrastructure developer and the future of the aviation industry in the country," he said.