India’s Adani Airports continues to develop as a major player in the privatisation of the country’s airports. However, controversy with its parent Adani Group threatens to have spill-over effects on potential upcoming bids for the latest round of regional airport privatisations.
Following troubled initial concessions of four key Indian airports in 2006 - where several bidders walked away - the Indian government and Airports Authority of India have made strides repairing their image to investors and restarted the privatisation process across a number of regional airports.
At the same time, influence of the early indigenous investors has waned. GMR Group and GVK, which won a number of high value and high-profile concessions in early rounds of bidding, have seen reduced success in recent years and have chased foreign projects via partnerships and collaborations.
Instead of chancing its arm in risky foreign markets like its peers, Adani Group has concentrated its attention within India. It has taken concessions at eight regional airports since 2019, also buying a majority stake in Mumbai International and the Navi Mumbai International development project.
Adani has announced it is open to investigate further privatisation opportunities, with a round of up to 11 new concessions forthcoming. However, the Indian conglomerate has also been hit with allegations of financial wrongdoing, sending its stock market valuation plummeting and putting significant pressure on founder, Gautam Adani. Though these are not likely to have any impact on the airports division.