IFC picks up stake in CleanMax Solar

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IFC, Washington, the private equity investment arm of the World Bank, has made an investment of $15 million in CleanMax Solar—the funding agency’s first investment in rooftop solar space globally.

Mumbai-based CleanMax Solar is a pioneer in the ‘opex model’ in India, where the company puts up solar plants— rooftop or otherwise—at its own cost, and sells the power directly to customers.

In June, CleanMax had announced $100 million equity investment by Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm, for an undisclosed stake in the company.

Kuldeep Jain, Founder and Managing Director, CleanMax Solar, told Business Line today that the $15 million investment by IFC is part of the $100 million deal with Warburg, something that had not mentioned in June announcement.

The company did not wish to disclose the stake that would be picked up by Warburg and IFC, but Jain said the two investors would have “a substantial minority”.

Jain told Business Line that of the committed $ 100 million (including IFC’s $15 million), the company has drawn $40 million, contributed by Warburg and IFC in the ratio 85:15.

A press release issued today quotes Hyun-Chan Cho, Regional Industry Head, IFC, as saying that the investor sees “distributed generation segment playing a very important role in India’s future energy mix.”

Canopy of customers

CleanMax has marquee customers such as companies of the Tata, Mahindra and TVS groups, Mindtree, Adobe India, United Breweries and SKF India. In 2016-17, the company added 95 MW of assets taking its portfolio to 150 MW.

However, in the current year, CleanMax would put up an additional 325 MW, Jain said.

Earlier this year, the company entered into a tie-up with the Japanese major, Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation, through which it sought to sell solar-derived electricity to Japanese companies in India.

It is learnt that a few deals are close to finalisation under this arrangement.



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