France’s ENGIE sells 74% stake in India business to Edelweiss’ fund

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French energy company ENGIE SA will sell 74% stake in its solar business in India to Edelweiss Infrastructure Yield Plus (EIYP) fund.

ENGIE, one of the largest foreign investors in India’s solar space, wants to dilute majority of its stake in the local business in the backdrop of the the Andhra Pradesh government’s decision to revise its renewable energy contracts. The state government’s move has affected international investor sentiment.

“In line with both ENGIE’s and EIYP’s strategies, ENGIE has agreed to sell (once the transaction has closed in accordance with its terms) a 74% stake in 12 solar assets aggregating 813 MW of operating capacity collectively to EIYP and Sekura Energy Ltd, a portfolio company of EIYP,” Engie said in a statement.

The $1 billion alternative investment fund managed by Edelweiss Alternative Asset Advisors Ltd invests in operating assets across sectors, including roads, renewables and transmission.

Mint had reported on 31 July, 2018, that EIYP fund was in talks with ENGIE to pick up a significant stake in the French energy firm’s Indian solar business.

“The completion of this transaction, subject to the usual conditions associated with this type of operation, is expected to occur during the first half of 2020 and will allow ENGIE to reduce its net debt by more than EUR 400 million,” the statement added.

ENGIE has an 813 MW solar portfolio through Solairedirect in India. It also has wind power generation capacity of 280 MW and has mandated Rothschild to find a buyer. Mint had reported on 19 March, 2018, about ENGIE’s plans to sell stake in Solairedirect, which has been actively bidding for projects in India.

Edelweiss sees an opportunity to aggregate good quality operating assets and is looking at opportunities in the highways, renewable and transmission space with a credible revenue counter-party, low operating costs and long residual life.

With presence across 70 countries, ENGIE owns power, gas and energy services businesses. It has been active in India for the past 20 years. After selling the Meenakshi Energy coal-fired thermal plant in Andhra Pradesh in November 2016 to India Power Corp Ltd, the company had sought to exit all coal-fired projects.

Recently, a joint venture between ENGIE and Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj Group to build a 1,000 MW wind power platform fell through.

This article was first published on livemint.com

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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