GMR wins arbitration against Maldives over Male airport fiasco

GMR Infrastructure today said that along with one of its subsidiaries, it has won arbitration proceedings in the Male airport case, and the tribunal has asked the Maldivian government and the country's airport company to pay damages and $4 million in legal costs to GMR.

Lord Hoffman's Tribunal in Singapore said the concession agreement was valid and binding and was not void for any mistake of law or discharged by frustration, according to a filing by the GMR Group to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

The Maldives government and Male International Airport Company are jointly liable to pay damages to GMR for loss caused by wrongful repudiation of the agreement to modernise and operate the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport in 2010.

GMR bagged a $500-million contract to modernise and operate the Male International Airport for 25 years. The dal was signed on 28 June 2010 by the then president Mohamed Nasheed's government, who was deposed by President Mohamed Waheed Hussan (See: India protests as Maldives cancels GMR project )

In Decembr 2012,  GMR suffd a legal setback, en th the Singapore Court of Appeals ruled that the Maldives government was within its right to take over the development and operation of Male airport (:GMR loses court battle for Maldives airport)

"It has always been our firm belief that the cancellation of our concession agreement amounted to wrongful repudiation by the government of Maldives and the Tribunal has upheld this stand," GMR said in the filing.

GMR had sought damages worth as much as $1.4 billion from the Male authorities and said that it is pressing ahead with the claim.

The Maldives government and the airport company have to pay $4 million by way of costs within 42 days, according to the filing.

The tribunal, which issued its award after 18 months of proceedings, said Male and the Maldives Airport Company repudiated the concession agreement by their notices to GMIAL (GMR Male International Airport Ltd) on November 29, 2012, and the repudiation was accepted by GMIAL.

It said the collection of airport development charges and insurance surcharge, as allowed in the concession agreement, was lawful under the Maldivian laws.

The GMR Group has interests in airports (Delhi, Hyderabad and the Philippines) energy, highways, and urban infrastructure.