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IDFC Joins Goldman in Increasing India Wind Investments

According to reports, IDFC Ltd. (IDFC), India’s biggest financier of clean-energy projects, will increase its investment in wind power, joining Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in adding to holdings in the nation.

IDFC’s alternative assets arm will invest about 2.5 billion rupees ($44 million) over the next six months in its Green Infra Ltd. unit, Raja Parthasarathy, partner at IDFC Alternatives, said in an interview. That will boost its investment in Green Infra to 12 billion rupees to help the unit fund acquisitions before a planned initial public offering, he said.

Goldman Sachs will raise its investment in India’s ReNew Wind Power Pvt. by $135 million to $385 million, spokesman Edward Naylor said in an e-mail yesterday. Wind power producers in India are buying smaller companies and consolidating in an effort to amass larger portfolios that generate cheaper power.

“There are excellent opportunities in the market for companies with the capital,” Parthasarathy said in the May 31 interview by phone. The additional funding will allow Green Infra to expand faster by buying already operating wind and possibly solar assets, he said. “You will see us a lot more active on acquisitions of operating assets.”

Goldman Sachs agreed to acquire a majority stake in ReNew Wind for 10 billion rupees in September 2011. The wind producer plans to have 1,000 megawatts of generation capacity by 2015, the companies said in a statement at that time.

New Delhi-based Green Infra, a renewable-energy developer set up by IDFC in 2008, will consider an IPO once it has increased capacity, Parthasarathy said.

“To get to the public market, Green Infra needs to be of a size and scale that will allow for a successful listing,” he said. That should be in about 18 months as the company raises operating capacity to 500 megawatts, from 320 megawatts currently, the executive said.

Selling shares in Singapore, London’s Alternative Investment Market or locally are among the possibilities Green Infra will evaluate, Parthasarathy said. Hyderabad-based Mytrah Energy Ltd. (MYT), backed by IDFC’s infrastructure arm, and the wind unit of Mumbai-based lender Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd. are also evaluating share sales in Singapore.

IDFC has invested 39 billion rupees in clean-energy companies, more than the state-backed Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency, making it the industry’s biggest funder, according to IDFC.

Those include investments in Moser Baer India Ltd. (MBI)’s solar photovoltaic unit and wind-turbine maker Suzlon Energy Ltd. (SUEL)’s SE Forge unit. IDFC swapped its SE Forge shares into those of the listed parent two years ago, then sold off its Suzlon stake recently, Parthasarathy said.

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