With as many as 20 deals hovering over, the nascent renewable energy segment is expected to close at least 10 deals worth about ₹2,500-3,000 crore in the next 12 months.
While the size of the deals is likely to be smaller than last fiscal, when some mega-deals including Tata Power's acquisition of Welspun Renewables for $1.4 billion were struck, the number is likely to go up.
“The secondary market for the sector has just started to grow, and we expect at least 10 deals of 600-800 MW to happen in the next one year.
“The general mindset is that the costs have gone down and it’s better to build a new plant, but then there are certain funds and companies that want to buy an established plant,” Gundu Sabde, Chairman and Managing Director at RelyOn Solar, told BusinessLine .
“The deals will be on a smaller scale this year and the reasons are that plant costs were higher and original promoters want to retrieve the asset value before the downward slide.
“Plants worth a couple of 100 MW were sold last year, and from next year we expect this to increase,” he added.
Some of the deals currently in discussion include both domestic and foreign players.
For example, KCT Group, Vikram Thapar-led arm of the business house founded by Karam Chand Thapar, is trying to sell off its wind and solar assets for about $100-150 million, while Orient Green Power Company Ltd (OGPL), part of the Shriram Group, is looking to sell its 68 MW biomass operations to its promoter company and is also in discussions to merge its wind assets, to the tune of 425 MW, with IL&FS Wind Energy.
ReNew Power Ventures Pvt Ltd, a Goldman Sachs-backed power developer is in talks with Orange Renewable, a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore-based AT Holdings Pte. Ltd, for acquisition of its 600 MW renewable portfolio for an estimated $ 950 million and Hindustan Powerprojects is planning to divest half of its solar capacity of 600 MW to Australia's Macquarie.
Global private equity major Actis LLP is exploring the sale of one of its renewable platforms, Ostro Energy in which it has committed $280 million investment in 2015, while French energy major Engie is in talks with Singapore-based Equis Energy to acquire its India portfolio of green energy platforms Energon and Energon Soleq.
“I believe, renewable energy is likely to see significant activity in terms of capital-raising and thematic M&As. As the sector’s scale, return profile and maturity change, the key to succeed will be attracting the right set of capital-raising avenues and strategic partners to remain competitive and enhance shareholder value,” said Sapna Seth, Director, Singhi Advisors.
“The players who have 100-200 MW capacity and want to exit the Indian market can be the target for large companies, especially those backed up by private equity funds as all of them are hungry for new capacities," said Siva Subramanian, Associate Director at India Ratings & Research.
He added that many players who could depreciate their assets through accelerated depreciation tax benefit mechanism which existed for several years to support the renewable sector are now willing to sell these assets.
"These are predominantly manufacturing companies, spinning mills, etc. that have built small renewable assets and are now willing to let them go,” he added.
According to analysts, large players such as Leap Green or Renew Power are on the hunt for such assets.