The Indian power sector’s first infrastructure investment trust (InvIT), IndiGrid, announced the completion of the acquisition of a 100% stake in two solar assets with a cumulative capacity of 100 MW (AC) from Madrid-based developer Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) at an enterprise value of ₹6.6 billion (~$88.4 million).
IndiGrid’s acquisition of its first solar asset is also the first renewable energy acquisition by any InvIT in the country. Cyril Amarchand and Mangaldas, PriceWater Coopers, and Mahindra Teqo advised IndiGrid on this transaction. Greenstone Advisors acted as the sell-side advisor on the transaction representing FRV.
In December last year, IndiGrid announced that it had signed a securities purchase agreement to acquire the two solar projects of capacity 50 MW each from FRV, FRV Solar Holdings Limited. In 2017, FRV had raised $29 million in non-convertible debentures from the International Finance Corporation to fund the 100 MW solar projects.
The acquisition will be funded through a combination of debt, internal accruals, and recent rights issue. Following the acquisition, IndiGrid’s net debt or assets under management stands around 58%, providing adequate headroom for growth against the 70% leverage threshold, as per the Security Exchange Board of India’s InvIT Regulations.
The InvIT’s asset portfolio includes 14 diversified power projects consisting of 40 transmission lines (~7,570 km), 11 substations (~13,550 MVA capacity), and 100 MW of solar projects across 18 states and one union territory.
The acquired 100 MW solar projects are fully operational and located in the high radiation zone at the 400 MW Ananthapuramu Solar Park in Andhra Pradesh for a 25-year contractual period at a fixed tariff. The power purchase agreement (PPA) for both assets is already in place with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).
The projects have been operational for over two years.
This transaction follows IndiGrid’s strategy to acquire solar projects with long-term PPAs, operational track record, and financially strong counterparties, off-takers such as SECI and NTPC.
According to a press release issued by IndiGrid, the acquired asset complements IndiGrid’s transmission portfolio with synergies on operations and regulatory establishments, apart from long contract life and low-risk cash flows.
Harsh Shah, Chief Executive Officer of IndiGrid, said, “We are excited to diversify our portfolio and add the first set of solar assets. This acquisition is distribution per unit accretive and resulting in healthy addition to our net distributable cash flow. While power transmission assets remain at the core of IndiGrid’s growth strategy, we believe such attractive opportunities to acquire good-quality solar projects tie in well with our strategy of providing predictable cash flows to our investors and reinforces our commitment to be a socially responsible organization.”
According to Mercom’s 1H and Q2 2021 Solar Funding and M&A Report, globally, over 24 GW of solar projects were acquired in Q2 2021 compared to 14.6 GW in Q1 2021. In a year-over-year comparison, 2.8 GW were acquired in Q2 2020. This is the largest amount of project acquisitions in a quarter since 2010.
Rahul is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before entering the world of renewables, Rahul was head of the Gujarat bureau for The Quint. He has also worked for DNA Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad Mirror. Hailing from a banking and finance background, Rahul has also worked for JP Morgan Chase and State Bank of India. More articles from Rahul Nair.