Mahindra group, embarked on its journey in 1945 by assembling the Willys Jeep in India and is now a US $7.1 billion Indian multinational. It employs over 1,00,000 people across the globe and enjoys a leadership position in utility vehicles, tractors and information technology, with a significant and growing presence in financial services, tourism, infrastructure development, trade and logistics.
Mahindra recently acquired a majority stake in REVA Electric Car Co Ltd. (now called Mahindra REVA), strengthening its position in the Electric Vehicles domain.
According to this report, the group has firmed up plans for getting into solar energy generation business and is looking to rope in a partner, which would bring in domain expertise as well as funding for the venture.
An industry source told DNA, “The Mahindra Group is venturing into solar power generation business and is likely to make this foray public in the coming months.” The source said that company is planning to rope in an investment partner and is currently in discussions with a few firms for it.
A Mahindra & Mahindra spokesperson said, “As a company policy we do not comment on market speculations.”
…….A senior official with a leading global private equity (PE) firm said, “Considering they have taken the PE-backed route earlier it is likely that the new business foray will follow a similar pattern. Given the comfort level they have with Kotak PE, they might go with the same partner.”
……Once concluded, the solar power generation venture will be Mahindra’s third such private equity-backed business foray in the last couple of years. Last year, the group had partnered with Kotak PE to acquire majority stakes in Australia-based aerospace companies Aerostaff Australia and Gippsland Aeronautics for around Rs175 crore.
…….The group’s first PE backed deal was the acquisition of the Italian gear manufacturer Metalcastello SpA in 2008. It had paired with ICICI Ventures Funds then.
It is interesting that Mahindra has chosen to venture into solar power generation which is the sought after theme, though one would assume that with the kind of respect the brand enjoys, distribution network it posses, manufacturing and engineering expertise that the group has they would venture into bigger opportunities in the off grid solar applications.
With their success in partnerships and foreign collaborations, one would also expect them to foray into the EPC space of the utility scale solar applications where their engineering expertise could be used. Would be interesting to see if Mahindra Satyam their IT company would follow IBM in providing smart grid solutions to the Indian market .
Just recently, as Panchabuta had mentioned, the first pilot project for Smart Grid technology will be implemented in Electronic City -Bangalore,India.