By Vinicy Chan, Elffie Chew and Takako Taniguchi
Equis Energy, the Singapore-based developer of power projects, has asked for binding bids for its $4 billion renewable energy business by late September, people with knowledge of the matter said.
A consortium led by I Squared Capital is among suitors chosen to proceed in the bidding for the portfolio of Asia Pacific assets, according to the people. The infrastructure investment firm is partnering with Thai utility Electricity Generating Pcl and Japanese trading house Mitsubishi Corp., the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.
Orix Corp., which has teamed with Dutch asset manager APG Groep NV, and Royal Dutch Shell Plc were also invited to make second-round offers, the people said. China’s government-owned State Power Investment Corp. and French utility Engie SA, which were earlier considering bids, are no longer pursuing the assets, according to the people.
Renewable energy assets are attracting heightened investor interest as governments throughout Asia are encouraging the use of non-fossil fuels to combat pollution in the region. Any deal will add to the $10.9 billion in acquisitions of Asian alternative power companies announced over the past 12 months, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Equis, which has appointed banks for a strategic review, is seeking to value the portfolio at more than $4 billion including debt, the people said. Equis expects a transaction to close in the fourth quarter, the firm’s Communications Director Roberto De Vido said in June.
No final decisions have been made, and there’s no certainty the deliberations will lead to a transaction, the people said. Spokesmen for Engie, Equis, Orix and Shell declined to comment, while a representative for Mitsubishi said the company can’t comment. A representative for SPIC didn’t respond to requests for comment. Representatives for I Squared and Thailand’s EGCO said they couldn’t immediately comment.
Equis, run by former Macquarie Group Ltd. executives, is pursuing a sale after delaying plans for an initial public offering of its operational assets, people with knowledge of the matter said in March. Its portfolio includes about 4.7 gigawatts of solar, wind and hydro generation across Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand, according to an April statement from the company.