The Union Government has approved the sale of the government-owned solar cell and module manufacturer Central Electronics Limited (CEL) to Nandal Finance and Leasing Private Limited for ₹2.10 billion (~$28.02 million).
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved Nandal Finance’s highest bid of ₹2.10 billion (~$28.02 million) for 100% sale of the Government of India’s shareholding in CEL.
CEL is a central public sector enterprise under the administrative control of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Ministry of Science and Technology. The company has a solar cell and module manufacturing capacity of 10 MW and 38 MW, respectively.
The process of disinvestment of CEL started in 2016. Bids were invited for its sale in May 2019. However, no financial bids were received.
Last year, the Government of India again invited an expression of interest (EoI) for the proposed disinvestment of 100% shareholding in CEL. The last date for the submission of interest was March 16, 2020.
The EoI received three bids by the extended last date of bid submissions. After that, the CCEA shared the revised request for proposal to transaction advisers for issuing the short-listed bidders for placing financial bids.
A reserve price of ₹1.94 billion (~$ 25.89 million) was set based on valuations by transaction advisors.
Nandal Finance and Leasing and JPM Industries were the top two bidders quoting ₹2.10 billion (~$28.02 million) and ₹1.90 billion (~$25.34 billion), respectively.
The letter of intent and the share purchase agreement will be issued after the successful bidder meets the precedent conditions. The transaction is expected to be completed during the financial year 2021-22.
Earlier this month, CEL issued an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) tender for 95 MW of decentralized solar projects in seven lots in Maharashtra. The capacity of the projects will range between 2 MW and 10 MW.
Mercom had earlier reported that CEL invited bids to supply 200,000 monocrystalline solar cells of 5.1 W or higher.
Harsh is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Previously with Indian Express, he has covered general interest stories. He holds a Masters Degree in Journalism from Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune.