Over the past decade, renewable energy financing has gone through various ups and downs depending on the investor sentiment. However, through all of this, private equity (PE) has remained one of the most dominant sources of raising finance, with debt and other emerging options such as green bonds constituting a small share. Renewable Watch recalls the 10 largest deals of the decade…
In September 2011, ReNew Wind Power Private Limited (a newly formed start-up at the time) secured a PE investment of Rs 10 billion from Goldman Sachs – the largest deal that year. It was a turning point for renewable energy financing as a start-up company had managed to raise such significant capital from a large global investment firm, highlighting India’s investment potential in the renewable energy space.
In what is believed to be the first ever mezzanine financing deal by an independent power producer in the wind energy space, Mytrah Energy (India) Limited raised $112 million in funds in two tranches, $78.5 million and $33 million. The funds were obtained from The India Infrastructure Fund, managed by IDFC Project Equity, in the form of preference shares, with a six-year term.
The largest PE deal of 2012 was signed between Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners and Continuum Wind Energy for a majority stake in the latter, in the month of June. Valued at Rs 12 billion, Continuum Wind Energy issued preference shares to Morgan Stanley, which were later converted into equity, giving the latter a stake of 50 per cent.
Inox Wind came out with its initial public offering (IPO) in March 2015. Demand far outstripped the number of shares that the firm put up on offer and the issue was oversubscribed by 18.6 times. The firm received bids for 431 million shares against the 232 million put up on offer. Inox Wind was one of the very few Indian renewable energy companies that were publicly listed at the time, and thus attracted scarcity premium.
CLP Wind Farms became the first corporate issuer of green bonds in India in September 2015. The company raised Rs 6 billion, primarily through Indian mutual fund investors. The AA-rated bonds were offered at a coupon of 9.15 per cent per annum, in three equal tranches, and were to mature every April in 2018, 2019 and 2020. The funds were to be used for the capital expenditure of the company’s wind assets.
In September 2016, Tata Power Renewable Energy Limited (TPREL), a subsidiary of Tata Power, acquired 100 per cent shares of Welspun Renewable Energy Private Limited (WREPL) and its subsidiaries in what remains one of the largest renewable energy acquisitions till date. This landmark deal set new benchmarks for renewable energy acquisitions due to its sheer portfolio size and valuation. Following this transaction, which was worth Rs 92.49 billion, TPREL acquired 1,141 MW of renewable power projects belonging to WREPL, comprising 990 MW of solar and 150 MW of wind power assets.
In October 2016, Azure Power became the first Indian solar entity to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The IPO comprised 3,409,091 shares, with 2,242,424 equity shares being sold by Azure Power and 1,166,667 shares being sold by other shareholders. The shares were sold to the public at $18 apiece.
In July 2017, Greenko Energy Holdings raised $1 billion through green bonds in what remains the largest overseas green bond issuance by a renewable energy company in India till date. The issue, which was oversubscribed by more than one and a half times, comprised two tranches – $650 million, set to mature in seven years, and $350 million, set to mature in five years.
ReNew Power acquires Ostro Energy in the largest such deal of the year (2018)
The acquisition of Ostro Energy by ReNew Power in April 2018 was one of the biggest such
transactions in the country’s renewable energy space in terms of deal value and asset size. Valued at Rs 100 billion, ReNew acquired 1,100 MW of Ostro’s assets – 850 MW of operational capacity and 250 MW of capacity under development, spread across Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, and involving a host of offtakers.
French energy giant Total SA acquired a 50 per cent stake in the Adani Group’s solar assets for Rs 37 billion in April 2019. Following the deal, Total owns half of a joint venture (JV) company that will house Adani Green Energy Limited’s 2,148 MW solar project portfolio, spread across 11 states. The portfolio size and the value of the deal make it one of the largest such instances of a major global oil firm investing in the Indian renewable energy sector till date.
The way forward
As we move into the next decade, private equity will likely continue to be the primary source of finance, with increased consolidation activity, especially given the current state of the banking sector. Other financing instruments such as infrastructure investment trusts, green bonds and IPOs are also expected to make headway.