GMR achieves financial closure to expand, operate Male airport

Hyderabad, Nov 25 (IANS) GMR Male International Airport Private Ltd (GMIAL) has achieved financial closure for the project to modernise, expand and operate the Male International Airport in the Maldives.

The aerodrome license was handed over by Ibrahim Saleem, chairman of Male Airports Company Limited, to Kiran Kumar Grandhi, business chairman, airports, GMR Group, at Hulhule Island in the Maldives Thursday. GMIAL is a subsidiary of GMR Infrastructure Limited (GIL).

The ceremony took place in the presence of Maldives President Mahamod Nasheed and his cabinet ministers, said a GMR statement here Thursday.

In June this year, the consortium led by GIL with Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) had won the concession for the Male airport for a period of 25 years.

GMIAL is the special purpose vehicle formed in the Maldives pursuant to the concession in which the stake of GIL and MAHB is 77 and 23 percent respectively.

GMR and MAHB will operate the Male International Airport from Thursday, four months ahead of schedule.

The total cost of the modernisation and expansion project, estimated at $511 million, is being funded through a combination of debt and equity in the ratio of 70:30.

The traffic at Male airport in 2009 was 2.6 million passengers with traffic growth in the first half of 2010 clocking over 20 percent on a year-on-year basis.

With Male, the GMR Group has four operational airports. The others being Delhi, Hyderabad and Istanbul.

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