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Mahindra Group and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (Ontario Teachers) announced a strategic partnership to capitalize on the growing renewables opportunity in India and contribute towards the country’s decarbonization ambitions.
The parties have signed binding agreements pursuant to which Ontario Teachers’ will acquire a 30% equity stake in Mahindra Susten Private Limited (Mahindra Susten) at an equity value of INR 2,371 crore (-USD 300 million).
The proposed transaction also envisages the setting up of an Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) in compliance with applicable regulations of the Securities and Exchange Board of India.
The InvIT is initially proposed to comprise renewable power assets seeded by Mahindra Susten with operational capacity of around 1.54 GWp. As part of the proposed transaction, shareholder loans of INR 575 crore (-USD 73 million) advanced by Mahindra Group to Mahindra Susten will be repaid.
As a result of this transaction, Mahindra Group will receive an inflow of approximately INR 1,300 crore (-USD 165 million). Mahindra Group and Ontario Teachers’ will jointly explore the sale of an additional 9.99% stake in Mahindra Susten by May 31, 2023. Mahindra Group will deploy these funds, plus an incremental amount of upto INR 1,750 crore (-USD 220 million), into the business & InvIT over the next seven years.
Over the same period, Ontario Teachers’ has committed to deploy an additional amount of up to INR 3,550 crore (-USD 450 million) into the business and the InvIT over the next seven years.
This transaction will enable Mahindra Susten to build a strong renewable energy business focused on solar energy, hybrid energy, integrated energy storage & round-the-clock (“RTC”) green energy plants.
Puneet Renjhen, Member of Group Executive Board and EVP, Partnerships & Alliances at the Mahindra Group said: ‘We are delighted to welcome Ontario Teachers’ as a strategic partner in Mahindra Susten. The partnership with Ontario Teachers’ will enable the Mahindra Group to unlock value in the renewable energy sector with continued joint investments towards accelerated growth. The Mahindra Group aims to be Planet Positive by 2040 and the continued inflow of patient, long-term capital in our climate positive businesses is validation of our commitment to be a global ESG leader.”
Chris Ireland, Senior Managing Director, Greenfield Investments & Renewables, Infrastructure & Natural Resources at Ontario Teachers’ said: “We are proud to invest in one of India’s leading renewable energy platforms. We believe the renewable energy sector in India is poised for significant growth in the coming years as India works towards its ambitious clean energy goals, and are excited to partner with the Mahindra Group in this initiative.”
As per the updated Nationally Determined Contributions (“NDCs”) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (“UNFCCC”), India now stands committed to reducing the emissions intensity of its GDP by 45% by 2030 from its 2005 levels, and achieve about 50% cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030. These are concrete steps towards achieving India’s long-term goal of reaching net-zero by 2070. As a result, the Indian renewable industry is expected to continue to grow significantly in the long term.
It is expected that Ontario Teachers’ acquisition of a 30% shareholding in Mahindra Susten, which is subject to closing conditions including regulatory approvals, will complete over the next few months. The InvIT is also expected to be formed during FY 2024 subject to requisite approvals.
Avendus Capital acted as financial advisor and Khaitan & Co. acted as legal advisor to the Mahindra Group for the transaction. Ambit acted as financial advisor and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas acted as legal advisor to Ontario Teachers’ for the transaction.