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International Finance Corporation (IFC) is looking to invest up to $11 million in Mahindra Solar One Pvt Ltd, a joint venture between the $12.5 billion Mahindra Group and solar power start-up Kiran Energy Solar Power Pvt Ltd. The deal may involve $5 million equity investment, along with $6 million in debt, by the private investment arm of the World Bank.

Mahindra Solar One, in which Kiran Energy holds 74 per cent stake while the rest is held by the Mahindra Group, is currently setting up a 5 MW greenfield project in Jodhpur district (Rajasthan), under the National Solar Mission. Another one of its projects is planned in Gujarat.

Mahindra Solar One, set up in July last year as a solar power development, construction and operating company, has a pipeline of solar projects totalling 50 MW, with a cost of $180 million.

Kiran Energy is a Mumbai-based solar power company, founded by Ardeshir Contractor, former head of KPMG’s investment banking business in India, and Alan Rosling, a former executive director of Tata Sons. Other promoters include IIT Mumbai faculty members Dr Sunit Tyagi and Dr Hemanshu Bhatt, who have expertise in the solar sector.

The firm is backed by private equity players New Silk Route, Bessemer Venture Partners and Argonaut Private Equity.

Recently, IFC has invested $4 million in Sapphire Industrial Infrastructures Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of Moser Baer Clean Energy which is constructing a solar plant of 5 MW capability in Tamil Nadu. IFC has also put money in several other solar power-related firms in India in the past two years, including SunBorne Energy, NDPL Solar, Applied Solar and Azure Power.

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