ThomasLloyd buys into solar power producer SolarArise in first India deal
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European investment firm ThomasLloyd Group has acquired a stake in Delhi-based solar energy producer SolarArise India Projects Pvt. Ltd, marking its first transaction in the country.

The investment will help SolarArise expand its solar energy capacity by around 250 megawatt, ThomasLloyd said in a statement. It didn’t disclose financial details of the deal.

SolarArise currently owns and operates 130 MW of solar power projects in India.

ThomasLloyd didn’t specify the size of the stake it is acquiring but said it will become the largest shareholder in SolarArise with this investment.

SolarArise’s existing shareholders include Core Infrastructure India Fund Pte Ltd (CIIF) and Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund (GEEREF). The two shareholders held a stake of about 97% in the company as on March 2017, according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle.

CIIF is an Indian infrastructure private equity fund sponsored by Kotak Mahindra. GEEREF, a fund advised by European Investment Bank Group, invests in specialist renewable energy and energy efficiency private equity funds in emerging markets.

In October 2014, VCCircle reported that SolarArise was raising over Rs 200 crore ($32.5 million then) from CIIF and GEEREF.

SolarArise develops, owns and operates grid-connected solar projects in India. It was founded by Tanya Singhal, Anil Nayar, and James Abraham in 2014.The three founders previously worked together at SunBorne Energy before founding SolarArise.

ThomasLloyd is a global investment and advisory firm which focuses on Asia’s infrastructure sector. The company is based in London and Zurich, and has presence in 14 other locations in North America, Europe and Asia. It manages assets worth more than $3.4 billion.

“Our strategy has always been to build a portfolio consisting of high-quality, medium-sized, grid-connected assets with long-term diversified PPAs,” said Nandita Sahgal Tully, managing director of merchant banking at ThomasLloyd. PPAs is short for power purchase agreements that producers sign with buyers.

India's renewable energy sector has recorded heightened activity over the past few years, especially after the government in 2015 set the 175 GW capacity addition target. The 175 GW target for 2022 includes 100 GW from solar power and 60 GW from wind.

Last month, Canadian pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) agreed to acquire a 40% stake in power producer CLP India Pvt. Ltd for Rs 2,640 crore.

In June, renewable energy major Greenko raised about $447 million (Rs 3,000 crore) in equity funding from existing investors GIC Pte Ltd and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

Also in June, Greenko agreed to acquire Orange Renewable for an equity value of $300 million (about Rs 2,000 crore). The deal’s enterprise value, including debt, was pegged around $1 billion.

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