BENGALURU: Energy Minister D K Shivakumar has written to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah requesting him not to allow GVK Group to sell its remaining stake of 10 per cent in Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL).
According to Shivakumar, GVK Group which had earlier sold its 33 per cent stake to Fairfax Group, a Canadian company, was planning to sell its remaining 10 per cent stake to Fairfax, which had also acquired another 5 per cent stake from Zurich Airport. “If this happens, then the combined share of foreign stakeholders — Siemens Project (26%) and Fairfax Group would be 74%. This is not advisable in the interest of providing high standard of services to the passengers and the safety and security of the country also becomes a matter of concern,” he said.
He argued that the sale would also result in the violation of the shareholder agreement.“The provision of the shareholders agreement mandates that at least one of the shareholders shall have experience and expertise in operation and maintenance of the airport. Fairfax Group is only a financial investor and has never maintained any international airport,” he added.
He accused GVK Group of turning BIAL into a trading entity, instead of serving the interests of the passengers ‘which was the basic intent behind allowing private promoters to become stakeholders in the company by incentivising in the form of providing more than 4,000 acres of government lands by the state.’
Shivakumar said that with the second terminal under construction, the presence of GVK Group was necessary to complete the expansion project. Stating that the proposal to hold the 10 per cent should be put on hold, he suggested that the government take control of the management of BIAL.