Gujarat Pipavav Port Ltd (GPPL), majority owned by shipping and ports conglomerate AP Moller Maersk group, has completed planned expansions and is now poised for growth, its chief executive said.
GPPL, India’s first private sector port, which was promoted by entrepreneur Nikhil Gandhi in the late 90s changed hands in 2005. Since then the $3-billion (Rs 13,800 crore) APM Terminals, the port arm of AP Moller Maersk group, has invested over Rs 1,200 crore modernising infrastructure.
“The first phase of expansion is complete and we have developed India’s finest port,” said Prakash Tulsiani, managing director, GPPL.
“We have installed most modern cranes, have set up an environment-friendly coal storage depot and have dedicated road and rail link for cargo,” he said.
“From 2008 to 2009, we witnessed 65 per cent growth in bulk and container cargo handling because we are able to accept big vessels,” Tulsiani said.
The company has permission to operate the port till 2028.
To part fund the expansions, it is planning an Initial Public Offering (IPO) to raise upto Rs 500 crore. The IPO is awaiting the clearance of market regulator Securities and Exchanges Board of India.
GPPL Chief Financial Officer Hariharan Iyer said Rs 300 crore from the IPO would go towards pre payment of loans and the rest towards equipment and working capital.
The company has a debt burden of Rs 1,075 crore. The IPO is to de-leverage the balance sheet. APM Terminals owns 57.9 per cent stake in the company while financial institutions and others hold the rest.
Disclaimer: For this story, the author’s travel, boarding and lodging was provided by GPPL.