India: PTT Group and ReNew Power deal said to be called off

Founded in 2011 by Sumant Sinha, ReNew Power has now over 1,000 MW of operational capacity from its own wind and solar projects. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

The proposed deal for Thailand’s energy major PTT Group buying a stake in ReNew Power Ventures Pvt. Ltd has been called off, said two people aware of the development.

This comes against the backdrop of ReNew Power announcing a merger with Nasdaq-listed special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) RMG Acquisition Corp. II on Wednesday at an enterprise value of about $8 billion. SPACs are publicly-traded shell companies with no commercial operations, which help unlisted companies go public through mergers, skipping the time-consuming conventional IPO route.

ReNew Power, founded by Sumant Sinha, was in talks with PTT Group, while the SPAC deal moved fast and gained precedence. Sinha, the chairman and managing director of ReNew Power, confirmed that the proposed deal with PTT Group was off the table.

“PTT is now considering investing in renewable energy on many projects in the targeted countries including India. We are still not able to disclose any further information about the projects under study,” a PTT Group spokesperson said in an emailed response.

ReNew Power generates 5.73 gigawatts (GW) through solar and wind assets and has another 4.41GW under development across India.

“ReNew Power was talking to PTT Group at some point. Meanwhile, the SPAC deal moved just very fast, and so there was no time left for that (PTT deal) to move forward. Meanwhile, other opportunities opened up for ReNew Power in the form of this transaction (SPAC),” said one of the two people mentioned above requesting anonymity.

Meanwhile, PTT Group is among those interested in picking a 22% stake in Avaada Energy Pvt. Ltd, in a potential equity deal estimated at $220 million, Mint reported earlier. Avaada Energy, controlled by entrepreneur Vineet Mittal, has an operational portfolio of 1.2GW with a further 4GW under implementation.

PTT’s plans for Avaada reflect growing interest of global oil and gas majors in India’s emerging green economy as the conventional hydrocarbon space undergoes technological disruptions amid a growing focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing.

A case in point is Malaysia’s state-run oil and gas firm, Petroliam Nasional Bhd or Petronas, acquiring Amplus Energy Solutions Pvt. Ltd in 2019. Also, French energy giant Total formed an equal joint venture with Adani Green Energy Ltd. Petronas also aims to buy about a 10% stake in Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd, in addition to investing in Tata Power’s renewable energy infrastructure investment trust.

Italy’s Eni SpA, Norway’s Statoil ASA, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, and Russia’s Rosneft are among other global oil majors that have shown interest in India’s clean energy space.

However, concerns remain. Foreign investors in India’s green energy space are becoming increasingly worried due to regulatory uncertainties in a country that is running the world’s largest clean energy programme. This is due to tariff-shopping by discoms as was seen in the steps taken by Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, and Punjab.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

Singapore Reporter/s

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

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  • 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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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.