Continuum’s founder may buy Morgan Stanley’s stake

The Indian renewable energy sector has witnessed several mergers and acquisitions in the past couple of years, led by both strategic and financial investors. Photo: Bloomberg

The Indian renewable energy sector has witnessed several mergers and acquisitions in the past couple of years, led by both strategic and financial investors. Photo: Bloomberg

Mumbai: Continuum Wind Energy founder Arvind Bansal is looking to buy back Morgan Stanley’s majority stake in the company’s 400MW wind energy platform, said two people aware of the development.

Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners, which manages over $4 billion globally, had invested $212 million in Singapore-based Continuum Wind in 2012. The India-focused Continuum was set up in 2009 by Bansal and Vikash Saraf.

“Bansal has been in the market for sometime and is talking to various investors to either raise capital to buyout Morgan’s stake or to bring on board a new investor who will buy Morgan out. He is in talks with various private equity and infra investors for the same. He wants to grow the business further and is not very keen on selling out right now,” said one of the people cited above, requesting anonymity.

Email queries to Morgan Stanley and Bansal did not elicit any response till the time of going to press.

According to its website, Continuum has a portfolio of about 1.8 gigawatts (GW), of which around 387.5 megawatts (MW) is operational and 150MW is under construction. Continuum’s current projects are located across Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Last November, Mint had reported that Continuum was in talks with private equity firm Olympus Capital Asia to raise structured credit financing of ₹450 crore ($70 million) to refinance part of its existing debt.

In July 2017, Continuum had withdrawn an offshore dollar bond issuance, aimed at refinancing the company’s debt obligations. According to a Financial Express report, Continuum Wind was looking to raise $400 million.

The Indian renewable energy sector has witnessed several mergers and acquisitions in the past couple of years, led by both strategic and financial investors.

In April, Goldman Sachs-backed ReNew Power Ventures Pvt. Ltd had acquired rival Ostro Energy Pvt. Ltd, the company that held buyout firm Actis Capital’s renewable energy assets of 1.1GW, in a ₹10,000-crore deal. With the acquisition, ReNew Power’s capacity exceeded 5.6GW, making it the largest renewable power producer in India.

Earlier this month, Greenko Group had said that it has agreed to buy Orange Renewable from Singapore’s AT Capital Group at an enterprise value of $1 billion.

In 2016, Tata Power Co. Ltd had acquired Welspun Renewables Energy Pvt. Ltd in a $1.38 billion transaction.

On 21 May, Mint had reported that Tata Power Ltd and Actis LLP were in separate talks to buy the solar power business of Subhash Chandra’s Essel Infraprojects Ltd.

In April, Reuters had reported that Actis was close to signing a deal to buy the solar power portfolio of Indian conglomerate Shapoorji Pallonji.

The acquisition of Shapoorji’s 400MW solar power portfolio will be done through Sprng Energy, a renewable platform owned by Actis, at an equity valuation of about $168 million.

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