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Home / Industry / Energy /  ReNew Power eyes Morgan Stanley stake in Continuum

NEW DELHI : ReNew Power Ventures Pvt. Ltd has evinced interest in buying US investment bank Morgan Stanley’s majority stake in Continuum Green Energy (India) Pvt. Ltd, said two people aware of the matter.

Continuum currently has 807.4 megawatts (MW) of operational wind and solar assets. In addition, it has 1.07 gigawatts (GW) capacity under various stages of development.

“ReNew Power is looking at acquiring Morgan Stanley’s majority stake in Continuum," one of the two people cited above said seeking anonymity.

Mint could not ascertain the value of the potential deal.

North Haven Infrastructure Partners, a global infrastructure fund managed by Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners, had in 2012 invested $212.03 million in Continuum. It has around 83% stake in the clean energy platform founded by Arvind Bansal and Vikash Saraf in 2009.

Norway’s state-run electricity firm Statkraft and US-based renewable energy producer SunEdison Inc. had previously initiated plans to acquire Continuum. Those transactions, however, did not materialize.

ReNew Power’s interest in Continuum follows its proposed merger with Nasdaq-listed special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) RMG Acquisition Corp. II (RMG II) at an enterprise value of around $8 billion announced in February this year. This comes against the backdrop of India’s low clean power tariffs and a shift in focus in the global energy landscape towards environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing.

A spokesperson for ReNew Power said in an emailed response that the company does “not comment on market speculation".

Queries emailed to a Morgan Stanley spokesperson on Wednesday remained unanswered till press time.

Arvind Bansal, Continuum’s chief executive officer, declined to comment on Morgan Stanley’s stake sale plans.

ReNew Power’s shareholders include chairman and managing director Sumant Sinha, Goldman Sachs, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Japan’s JERA Co. Inc., Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and GEF SACEF India.

The company operates 6.24GW of solar and wind power, with a total capacity of around 10GW as of 31 December. In 2018, it acquired 1.1GW of wind and solar power assets from Ostro Energy, one of the biggest acquisitions in India’s renewable energy space.

Deal activity in India’s green energy space has remained unaffected by the widespread disruptions to economic activity from the pandemic as well as problems plaguing the sector, such as higher prices of solar photovoltaic modules.

Some of the transactions include Adani Green Energy Ltd agreeing to buy SB Energy India for an equity value of around $625 million. The deal at an enterprise value of about $3.5 billion was announced soon after the collapse of a plan to sell SoftBank’s entire 80% stake in SB Energy to Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

Also, private equity firm Actis Llp agreed to buy 500MW of solar projects in India from Finland’s state-controlled power utility Fortum Oyj for about €280 million . Meanwhile, Singaporean conglomerate Keppel Corp. is among suitors for Warburg Pincus LLC’s majority stake in rooftop solar power producer CleanMax Enviro Energy Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

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