French Energy Major ENGIE Plans $180 Million Renewable Energy Acquisition In India

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Yet another renewable energy project developer in India is on the acquisition radar of foreign investors. This time French energy company ENGIE is eyeing a $180 million buyout of Kiran Energy Solar Power.

ENGIE, formerly GDF Suez, is planning to acquire a majority stake in Kiran Energy Solar Power, a project developer with power plants operational under India’s National Solar Mission. ENGIE will invest about Rs 1,200 crore (~ $180 million) to acquire the stake.

In 2010, Kiran Energy sold a 75-80% stake to three private equity investors — New Silk Route, Bessemer Ventures, and Argonaut Ventures, for approximately $30-40 million. All these investors will now sell their stakes to ENGIE at an impressive profit of around $140-150 million.

The private equity investors had been looking to exit the company since at least March this year, and had mandated the Citi Group to scout for buyers.

Kiran Energy operates solar power projects with more than 80 MW capacity, most of which were awarded to the company through competitive auctions under the National Solar Mission. The company has several other projects under development. The valuation of Kiran Energy may look pretty high. but that may be because its also owns a 75% stake in another renewable energy project developer, Mahindra Solar One. Like Kiran Energy, Mahindra Solar One also operates several solar power projects in India.

This would be ENGIE’s second acquisition in India and the first in the country’s renewable energy sector. In 2013, the company acquired 74% stake in Meenakshi Energy, a thermal power project developer that is working on a 1,000 MW coal-based power plant. ENGIE is believed to have paid up to $400 million to acquire the stake.

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