Solairedirect, also a France-based company, has a healthy solar power capacity under its belt with presence in several countries across the world. Engie, formerly GDF Suez, will pay about $222 million for the acquisition, which also includes $143 million capital increase for Solairdirect.
Solairedirect has been actively developing solar power projects with a focus on India and Chile. In India, the company has successfully participated in several central government and state-level competitive auctions. The company also has several small utility-scale solar power projects in France. In total, the company has 486 MW of operational capacity from 57 solar power projects.
Engie seems aimed on significantly increasing its presence in the fast-developing solar power market in India. The company is reported to be in talks to acquire another solar power project developer in India, Kiran Energy. Engie may spend up to $180 million to acquire the project developer, which has more than 80 MW of operational capacity and a majority stake in another solar power joint venture with one of the leading conglomerates in India.
Engie is expected to join several foreign companies to have invested or acquired stakes in Indian renewable energy companies in the last few years. The likes of SunEdison, Enel Green Power, Goldman Sachs, GE Energy Financial Services, International Finance Corporation, and KfW have done so.
Engie is not new to power sector acquisitions in India. In 2013, it acquired a 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.