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GIP-led investors group to buy Equis for $5 billion in largest ever clean energy deal

The sale includes the liabilities of $1.3 billion and the Indian portfolio of the Singapore-based renewable energy developer comprising green energy platforms Energon and Energon Soleq. Photo: MintPremium
The sale includes the liabilities of $1.3 billion and the Indian portfolio of the Singapore-based renewable energy developer comprising green energy platforms Energon and Energon Soleq. Photo: Mint

Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), Canada's Public Sector Pension Investment Board and China's CIC Capital Corp. will buy Equis Energy for $5 billion

New Delhi: A group of investors led by Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) will acquire Equis Energy for $5 billion. The other investors in the largest clean energy deal till date include Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) and China’s CIC Capital Corp. among others.

The sale includes the liabilities of $1.3 billion and the Indian portfolio of the Singapore-based renewable energy developer, comprising green energy platforms Energon and Energon Soleq.

“Equis Pte. Ltd (Equis) and Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) announced today the execution of binding documentation for the sale of 100% of Equis Energy for $5.0 billion (including assumed liabilities of $1.3 billion) in cash to GIP and co-investors. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018," the companies said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

While GIP’s current equity fund, Global Infrastructure Partners III, makes equity investments in energy, transport water and waste sectors assets; PSP Investments is one of the largest Canadian pension funds and has recently stepped up investments in the Indian infrastructure sector.

Equis Energy is present in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, India and Thailand.

It has solar and wind power project portfolio of 1.9 gigawatt (GW) and a development pipeline representing 9.1GW.

Mint reported about the Equis Energy India assets sell-off plan, as part of the strategic review of its Asian renewable energy portfolio on 14 June.

While Energon is focused on wind power projects with 414 megawatt (MW) of operating assets, Energon Soleq works in the solar sector and is developing projects totalling 260MW in Telangana and Karnataka.

Additionally, 300MW of capacity is being developed by these firms.

“The investment by GIP and its partners is exciting news for the development of renewable energy in the Asia Pacific," David Russell, chief executive officer of Equis and chairman of Equis Energy said in the statement.

Equis has raised around $2.7 billion in equity and started Equis Energy in 2012.

“Equis Energy is the largest renewable energy independent power producer (IPP) in the Asia-Pacific region, with over 180 assets comprising 11,135MW in operation, construction and development across Australia, Japan, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand," the statement added.

Credit Suisse (Singapore) Ltd and J.P. Morgan (S.E.A.) Ltd acted as financial advisers to Equis Energy. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP acted as legal advisers to Equis Energy and Clifford Chance LLP acted as legal adviser to GIP.

India has set an ambitious target of installing 175,000MW of renewable energy by 2022. Of this, 100,000MW is to be generated by solar projects and 60,000MW by wind projects. This has been attracting investors to scale up capacity here.

Ongoing deal activity in India’s green energy space includes Subhash Chandra’s Essel Infraprojects Ltd mandating Investec to find a buyer for its solar business and Finland’s state-controlled power utility Fortum OYJ hiring Barclays Bank to sell a stake in its operational solar power projects in India. Also, Canadian solar energy developer SkyPower Ltd has hired Yes Bank to sell a stake in its solar power projects in India, Mint reported on Wednesday.

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