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Aditya Birla Group mulls airport foray

P R Sanjai & Kausik Datta  |  Mumbai 

After the turn of the and Ambanis, the Birla Group has taken up the lucrative job.
After retail, the is now considering Sources close to the development said the group will shortly take a decision on the business, which has seen interest from large houses like the and the
The group was expected to enter the business of developing non-metro airports. In that case, it would not need a foreign partner, as was the case with the and the Ambani brothers, who have bid for the Navi-Mumbai airport but have not finalised tie-ups.
When contacted, an spokesperson said, "We do not comment on market speculation."
For metro and greenfield projects, the winner of bids will have to take up development of both the aeronautical part and the civil facilities. That is why the and the are jointly bidding with foreign partners for these projects.
These joint ventures involve getting the foreign to supply the technical knowhow for the aeronautical part of the projects.
However, the will develop the aeronautical aspects of the 35 non-metro airports, which will be modernised in seven blocks. The civil aviation ministry will invite private for the development of the non-aeronautical aspects of the projects.
Sources said the ministry would offer these 35 airports in seven blocks in order to maintain balance between the "lucrative" and the commercially less viable airports. The government has appointed consultants for the first 10 airports.
The (AAI) had earlier identified 35 non-metro airports for modernisation.
Industry experts said with retail businesses will be able to derive synergy from projects if they manage to bag them. "I will not be surprised to see many more with linkages to these sectors throwing their hats into the business," said an expert.
The run Trent and West End, the Mukesh Ambani group has Reliance Fresh and the Anil Ambani Group runs a retail operation through Reliance Communications. The recently launched More, a supermarket chain.
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    First Published: Tue, June 19 2007. 00:00 IST