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Adani Ports looks to buy SP Group’s Gopalpur Port in Odisha

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AHMEDABAD : Adani Ports and SEZ is reportedly in talks with Shapoorji Pallonji Group to acquire its Gopalpur Ports in Odisha for up to Rs 1,100-1,200 crore in equity value. SP Ports Maintenance owns 56 per cent in Gopalpur Ports, while the rest is owned by Orissa Stevedores (OSL). This acquisition is part of the company’s string-of-pearls strategy that involves owning facilities in both eastern and western water margins. The deal could potentially be Adani Ports’ sixth acquisition of a port along India’s eastern coast, where it already has about 247 million tonnes of capacity, the newspaper daily added.

The Gopalpur port’s enterprise value is 50 billion rupees, and due diligence for its buyout is in process, report said citing people aware of the talks.The buyout is part of the Gautam Adani-led Group’s strategy to own ports across the western and eastern water margins. The Adani Group and SP Group did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

In August, Deloitte resigned as auditor of Adani Ports, the first such move since U.S. short-seller Hindenburg Research flagged high debt levels and alleged irregularities at the group.

The SP Group had earlier sold a majority 50 per cent in the 5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) PNP Maritime Services (PNP Port) that operates jetties at Shahbaj, in Maharashtra’s Raigad. JSW Infrastructure paid Rs 270 crore in cash for the facility that has an enterprise value of Rs 700 crore. The proceeds will go toward repaying NCD holders of a Rs 14,300-crore, rupee-denominated zero coupon bond.

Gopalpur Ports has been operational since 2015 and is located between the busy Paradip Port and Vizag Port. It is also connected to the Golden Quadrilateral through NH-516.

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