Brookfield may buy Continuum’s assets
Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management Inc. is in talks to buy the operational wind energy assets of Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners-controlled renewable energy platform Continuum Wind Energy, two people aware of the development said.
“Brookfield has been keen on acquiring renewable energy assets in India. They have recently started talks with Continuum to acquire the entire operational portfolio of the company,” said one of the two people, requesting anonymity as the talks are private.
Continuum has almost 400 megawatts (MW) of operational wind energy assets in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, he said. Investment bank Moelis and Co. is advising Continuum on the transaction, he added.
According to the second of the two people, the transaction size could be in the range of Rs1,700-2,000 crore in terms of enterprise value. He also spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Brookfield manages assets worth around $250 billion across various geographies and asset classes such as real estate, infrastructure, renewable energy and private equity.
“Continuum has been in talks for sometime to sell these assets. They had reached a deal with SunEdison, which later got scrapped because of SunEdison’s financial troubles. Recently they were also in talks to raise primary capital with Partners Group, but those talks haven’t reached any conclusion and now they have engaged in discussions with Brookfield,” the second person added.
In June 2015, SunEdison had announced that it would acquire Continuum’s assets. In September, however, the deal was scrapped owing to SunEdison’s financial problems.
Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners is the majority owner in Continuum Wind, a Singapore-based, India-focused firm, in which it invested $212 million in 2012. Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners manages $4 billion globally.
Continuum was set up in 2009 by Arvind Bansal and Vikash Saraf. Moelis and Partners Group declined to comment. Emails sent on Tuesday to Brookfield and Morgan Stanley did not elicit any response.
Continuum’s asset sale talks with Brookfield come against the backdrop of a strong consolidation drive in India’s renewable energy industry.
In June, Tata Power Co. Ltd acquired around 1.1 gigawatts of solar and wind power assets from Welspun Enterprise Ltd at an enterprise value of $1.4 billion.
In September, Hyderabad-based renewable company Greenko Energy Holdings, acquired SunEdison Inc.’s Indian solar asset portfolio for around $392 million. Also, in September, Mint had reported that Rahul Puri’s Hindustan Powerprojects Pvt. Ltd had initiated discussions with investors to sell around 300MW of solar assets, which could fetch the company around $300 million.
Brookfield has become one of the most active infrastructure asset buyers in India in the past 12 months.
Since announcing its intent to acquire nine infrastructure assets from Gammon Infrastructure Ltd in August 2015, it has been actively scouting for more.
On 15 October, Brookfield signed a term sheet to acquire a 51% stake in Reliance Communications Ltd’s telecom tower assets for around Rs11,000 crore. Brookfield was also in talks to buy Reliance Infrastructure’s road assets.
In one of the largest real estate deals in recent years, Brookfield is acquiring office and retail assets of Hiranandani Developers Pvt. Ltd in the Mumbai suburb of Powai at a valuation of close to $1 billion, Mint had reported on 7 October.