Credit Suisse PE Asia-backed Shree Ganesh Jewellery House Ltd has forayed into solar power generation business by buying controlling stakes in two companies – Alex Astral Power and Alex Spectrum Radiation – for an undisclosed sum, the company has said. The Kolkata-based company has acquired 55 per cent stake in each firm.

Although the company did not disclose the amount invested, according to a media report, Shree Ganesh Jewellery paid Rs 100 crore ($20 million) to buy the stakes in the two power firms. Alex Spectrum is reportedly close to commissioning a 5 MW solar project in Rajasthan while Alex Astral Power has already commissioned a 25 MW solar power plant in Gujarat.

This comes as yet another business diversification for Shree Ganesh Jewellery, which is also eyeing the gold loan business as an extension of its existing operations. However, an entry into the solar power space seems to be more ambitious.

Founded in 1992, Shree Ganesh Jewellery went public two years ago. Credit Suisse PE Asia holds 5.3 per cent stake in the company.

Although the solar power industry is witnessing a consolidation globally, it is fast becoming a sunrise sector in India and has attracted considerable interest from investors, as well as cross-border partnerships.

Most recently, private power player Tata Power Co Ltd signed a share purchase agreement with BP Alternative Energy Holdings Ltd to buy the latter’s 51 per cent equity and preference shares in the joint venture Tata BP Solar India Ltd for an undisclosed sum.

In another deal, solar projects developer SunBorne Energy joined hands with Europe-based IPP Eoxis Energy for executing a 15 MW solar photovoltaic project being built in Gujarat. Solar power firm Kiran Energy also raised $50 million commitment from Bessemer Venture Partners, New Silk Route and Argonaut Ventures. In June last year, IFC invested $4 million in Sapphire Industrial Infrastructures Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of Moser Baer Clean Energy Ltd. Sapphire Industrial is constructing a 5 MW solar plant at Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu.

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