India: KKR, Actis in talks to acquire solar assets from Azure

Photo from Azure Power's website.

Private equity (PE) investors KKR and Actis are in talks to acquire a solar portfolio of 435 megawatts (MW) from Canadian pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ)-backed Azure Power Global Ltd, said three people aware of the development.

“KKR and Actis are interested in acquiring the portfolio of solar projects from Azure. The transaction is likely to happen at a value of around $200-250 million,” said the first person cited above, requesting anonymity.

Investment bank Avendus Capital is advising Azure, the person said, adding that “the idea is to sell operating projects to release capital and use that for new and under-development projects in the pipeline”.

Others such as Brookfield, Edelweiss, Ayana Renewable Power and O2 Power had also shown interest in the assets of Azure Power, though the talks eventually advanced only with KKR and Actis, said the second person cited above on condition of anonymity.

Azure Power has a pan-India portfolio of over 7 gigawatts (GW). Founded in 2008, it had developed India’s first utility-scale solar project in the following year.

KKR, Actis, Avendus and Azure Power declined to comment.

KKR and Actis have been active investors in the Indian renewable sector. In April, KKR acquired 317MW of solar assets from the Shapoorji Pallonji Group for 1,554 crore (about $204 million). The sale included 169MW of solar projects in Maharashtra and 148MW in Tamil Nadu.

Earlier in February, The Economic Times reported that Actis had agreed to acquire around 600MW of solar projects from Delhi-based renewable energy company Acme Solar.

Several other renewable energy portfolios are also on the block.

Mint reported on 26 May that Saudi Arabia’s Alfanar Group is looking to sell half of its 600MW wind power projects in India.

Finland’s state-controlled power utility Fortum Oyj is also looking for buyers for its 500MW Indian solar projects, Mint reported on 1 June. At least six firms, including Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), Brookfield Asset Management Inc., PE firms Actis, KKR, Macquarie Group, and Edelweiss Infrastructure Yield Plus Fund, have evinced interest in taking a majority stake, Mint reported.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

Singapore Reporter/s

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).

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

  • 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. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

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).

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

  • 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. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.