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Adani Group preparing to buy CONCOR

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AHMEDABAD: Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) is aggressively building up a war chest of debt and cash to acquire Container Corporation of India Ltd (Concor), Chief Executive Officer, Karan Adani has said.

APSEZ’s gross debt has risen by ₹10,595 crore to ₹44,996 crore on September 30 from ₹34,401 crore on March 31, while its cash and cash equivalents have gone up to ₹9,434.19 crore on September 30 from ₹3,310.74 crore on March 31.

“What we are planning and what we are gearing ourselves up for is the acquisition of Concor,” Karan Adani told analysts during an earnings call.

“Whatever debt we have raised is mainly for Concor,” he said.

APSEZ anticipates the government to flag off the privatisation process of Concor in April next year.

“That is what we believe it would be. From our point of view, we are building up the reserves from now, so that by the time the acquisition comes to conclusion, we are not stretched on the balance sheet, in terms of the numbers as well as on the ratios.More importantly, we want such a large acquisition to be sort of a normal course of business, rather than being stretched out at the last moment. So, we are just preparing ourselvesnot just in terms of the cash and the balance sheet, but even in terms of the organisation and strategy to use this next six months to prepare ourselves for bidding,” Karan said.

In July, APSEZ raised $750 million in US dollars bonds, which was the first ever issuance by any Indian infrastructure company for unsecured dual tranche notes of 10.5 years and 20 years maturity at a fixed coupon of 3.8 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively. The issuance has helped APSEZ to increase debt maturity profile to 7.01 years on September 30 from 5.98 years on March 31 and is touted as a reflection of the company’s ability to raise capital from the international market at a lower cost and with a longer tenure.

APSEZ’s net debt currently is ₹31,307 crore.

“With the Concor acquisition, the net debt position will remain around ₹31,000 because we are using the cash (also) to fund the acquisition,” Karan added.

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