Hinduja National Power looks to acquire Kiran Energy assets

Mumbai: Hinduja National Power Corp. Ltd, part of the diversified Hinduja Group, is the latest company to express interest in acquiring the assets of Kiran Energy Solar Power Pvt. Ltd, according to two people aware of the development.

Hinduja National Power has initiated discussions to acquire ownership of Kiran Energy, from private equity funds, the people said on condition of anonymity.

PE funds Argonaut Ventures, New Silk Route (NSR) and Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP) India own nearly 80% of the Mumbai-based firm while founder Ardeshir Contractor and Alan Rosling, a former Tata Sons executive director, and a few others own the rest. The deal size could be $100-150 million (Rs640-1,000 crore), said one of the two people cited above.

“There are interests from many parties and the discussions are on with them. We can’t disclose any further details at this point of time,” said Contractor. Mails and calls made to Ashok Puri, managing director of Hinduja Power, did not elicit any response. Mails sent to BVP India, Argonaut Ventures remained unanswered while an NSR spokesperson declined to comment.

Amplus Energy Solutions Pvt. Ltd, backed by US private equity (PE) firm I Squared Capital, is also interested in acquiring Kiran Energy given the high electricity tariffs awarded in some of the power purchase pacts signed by the Mumbai-based solar power producer, Mint reported in January.

Kiran Energy was founded in 2010 by Rosling, a former executive director of Tata Sons, and Contractor, a former head of KPMG’s Investment Banking business in India. Kiran Energy has built a portfolio of around 83 megawatts (MW) including a 60MW plant in Rajasthan. Kiran Energy also owns a 74% stake in a joint venture—Mahindra Solar One, where the rest is held by the Mahindra Group. The joint venture, set up in 2015, has a pipeline of solar projects totalling 50 MW.

“Recent headwinds around utilities walking away from signed / agreed PPAs, debate around reasonable returns being available in the projects won under recent round of auctions, slowing down of bids, and disconnect between return expectations of seller vis-a-vis buyer has not helped the cause of the solar power sector,” said Manish Aggarwal, partner, head – corporate finance, infrastructure – equity and debt, KPMG in India.

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