Energy continues to be the most favoured investment bet for investors. Soham Renewable Energy India Pvt, a developer of hydel power plants backed by New York-based hedge fund D.E. Shaw & Co., is raising up to $60 million from Macquarie SBI Infrastructure fund, sources tracking the development told VCCircle. Sources add that the company is in advanced stage talks with Macquarie and that a deal is in the offing.

As oneof the most active PE firms last year, Macquarie invested up to $600 million in infrastructure across three deals. The firm’s over half a billion dollar investments included a $300-million transaction to buy around 11% stake in Viom Networks, that brought together the passive telecom infrastructure businesses of Quippo Telecom Infrastructure Ltd and Tata Teleservices under one roof last year. Its other investments include MB Power Madhya Pradesh Ltd, Adhunik Power & Natural Resources Ltd and GMR Airports Holdings Pvt. Ltd.   

A spokesperson of Macquarie replied saying , " Macquarie does not comment on market rumours or speculation." Sunith Shetty, Vice Chairman, Soham Renewable Energy, declined to comment on the development.     

In 2008, The D. E. Shaw group, a global investment and technology development firm, invested $15 million in Soham Renewable Energy India Private Limited to fund its expansion plan over the next five years. It has also raised commitments from FE Clean Energy Asia, a Connecticut, USA - headquartered fund, which has three active funds, one each in Latin America, Eastern Europe and its Asia Fund, based in Singapore.

The company needs money to complete its ongoing projects. The independent power producer is currently working to commission a mini hydel project -Mahadevapura Mini Hydel Scheme on Cauvery River, Mandya District, Karnataka. The project has a gated weir, intake channel, power house, tail race channel,66KV transmission corridor, etc. All clearances required to start project construction have been obtained. The company is also expected to commission  a mini hydel power project at Mudabidri, with a capacity of 17 mw, in Dakshina Kannada district.

The seven other projects are: 20 mw project at Devaragadde across Krishna river in Raichur district, 6 mw project at Mahadevapura across Cauvery river near Mysore, Nekkilady in Uppinangadi with 12.5 mw, Talakalale in Shimoga with 5 mw, Mulibettu in Dakshina Kannada with 10.5 mw, Kolavuru in Dakshina Kannada district with 18 mw and Hosangadi with 3 mw in Dakshina Kannada district. Two other projects are planned with 5 mw each at Sampladi near Subramanya and Kudavinakatte in Uttara Kannada district.

In the background of a growing economy, India’s energy demands are expected to outpace its supply and there is an increased reliance on foreign investors and private domestic players to fill the supply void through infrastructure expansion and introduction of renewable energy sources.

In one of the largest deals in the power sector, Asian Genco raised $425million from a consortium of investors led by Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners. In 2010, Greenko Group PLC, a renewable energy generation company with focus on developing a portfolio of biomass, hydro electric and wind assets within India, received $34 million investment from TPG Capital Inc. Also, Auro Mira Energy Co. Pvt. Ltd, engaged in manufacturing and supplying wind energy generators, raised $10 million from International Finance Corp. Companies like Bhilwara Energy and Greenko have already raised money in the past. 

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