A private equity fund, jointly managed by State Bank of IndiaBSE 1.27 % and Australia’s Macquarie Group, is in early talks with Moser BaerBSE 1.38 % Energy to acquire operational alternate power assets portfolio of the New Delhi-based company, two people with knowledge of the development said. Moser Baer has an operational portfolio of 270 mw and is selling operational assets to fund expansion of the capacity. The sale, if executed, would be one of the largest operational solar portfolio deals in India. The company has reached out to core infrastructure asset owners such as Macquarie, one of the persons said.
“Yes, a process is on, but it’s in very early stages. The company is selling operational assets, which are clean and has got no tailwinds,” said the second person quoted above. SBI-Macquarie and Citi declined to comment, while a mailed questionnaire to Moser Baer spokesperson remained unanswered until press time. Moser Baer has been producing solar panels since 2005-06, but the financial crisis and aggressive Chinese competition put the company on the back foot. In 2010, it raised $300 million from Blackstone in one of the largest infrastructure investments in India. SBI-Macquarie has invested in the thermal power assets of Moser Baer.
Solar power in India is a fast developing industry, with a cumulative installed grid connected solar power capacity of 7565 MW as of May 31, 2016, with a proposed target of 100 000 MW by 2022. The government has set a target of $100 billion of investment and 100 GW of solar capacity including 40 000 MW from rooftop solar by 2022.