According to reports, Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) is in advanced talks to acquire a 320 megawatt (MW) portfolio of solar assets from Hindustan Power Projects Pvt. Ltd (HPPPL), two people familiar with the development said.
HPPPL, formerly known as Moser Baer Projects Pvt. Ltd, has over 600MW of solar capacity. In April, it commissioned a 1,200MW thermal power plant at Anuppur in Madhya Pradesh.
Mint reported in September that the firm was scouting for buyers for a large chunk of its solar power assets.
The sale is expected to fetch HPPPL a valuation of around $300 million, said one of the two people cited above, requesting anonymity as the talks are private. “The transaction is expected to be closed in a few weeks. The sale of this portfolio of assets will help reduce its debt obligations and fund the development of its pipeline of renewable energy projects,” he said.
Macquarie, through one of its earlier funds, SBI Macquarie Infrastructure Fund, is an investor in HPPPL’s thermal power plant. The fund had invested Rs580 crore in the project in January 2011.
According to the second person cited above, MIRA is also exploring the option to buy another 50MW of assets from the company. He, too, requested anonymity.
“The information is incorrect and inaccurate and merely speculation. While there are talks with multiple players…, none of them are in closing stages,” said a spokesperson for HPPPL in an email statement. MIRA declined to comment on the issue.
HPPPL plans to reach 2 gigawatts (GW) in total solar capacity by 2017 end and has a target of reaching 7GW of total capacity by 2020 from coal, solar and hydroelectric power sources. According to its website, it is in advanced stages of commissioning more than 5GW by end of 2017 of combined power assets at an estimated investment of $5.15 billion. Besides India, the firm has power generation assets in Germany, Italy, the US, the UK and Japan.
The acquisition will allow Macquarie to start a renewable energy platform in India.
In February 2016, MIRA, a part of the asset management arm of Macquarie Group, announced that it had raised $3.1 billion to invest in infrastructure companies in Asia, including India.
Macquarie has previously invested in the Indian renewable energy space through its earlier fund SBI Macquarie Infrastructure Fund. The fund, in November 2011, had invested in Soham Renewable Energy India Pvt. Ltd.
The talks between Macquarie and HPPPL come at a time when merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the Indian renewable energy sector is witnessing an upsurge.
Earlier this month, renewable energy firm Inox Renewables Ltd announced it had agreed to sell its operating wind power farms of 260MW capacity to Chennai-based wind power firm Leap Green Energy Pvt. Ltd.
Last month, renewable energy firm Orient Green Power Co. Ltd said it is evaluating a merger of its wind power business with IL&FS Wind Energy. The merger will create a firm with 1.2GW of assets.
On 14 March, Mint reported Greenko Group is looking to acquire hydro and wind power producer Bhoruka Power Corp. Ltd’s renewable energy portfolio of 310MW.