MAHB exits Maldives airport project

MAHB exits Maldives airport project

SAM Staff,

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) has sold off its entire 23% stake in an airport in Maldives, including its receivables and loans, to joint venture partner GMR Holdings for RM28.5mil cash.

The deal marks MAHB exit from the controversial project.

MAHB told the exchange today that will book a gain of RM28.5mil from the disposal of GMR Male International Airport Ltd (GMIAL) as the carrying value of the asset had been fully impaired in 2014.

The share purchase agreement was entered  on March 14.

GMIAL was incorporated in Maldives in August 2010 to operate, maintain, expand, rehabilitate and modernise the Ibrahim Nasir Airport for a period of 25 years.

MAHB had invested a total equity of US$6.9mil for the 23% shares in GMIAL. GMR Holdings owns the remaining 77% stake in the project.

The project, however, ran into problems soon after.

On Nov 27, 2012 the Government of Maldives together with the Maldives Airports Company Ltd declared that the concession agreement with GMIAL as void ab initio.

The dispute was brought to an arbitration tribunal, which declared that the concession agreement was valid and binding and was not void ab initio.

On Nov 16, 2016 the Government of Maldives paid a total sum of US$271mil in damages GMIAL.