Rajalakshmi Group acquires Ashok Leyland Wind Energy

Chennai-based Rajalakshmi Group, which runs engineering and technology colleges, has acquired a majority stake inAshok Leyland Wind Energy. The Group has also lined up new projects worth Rs 1,100 crore and is in talks with private equity firms to fund the expansion.

Abhay S Meganathan, managing director, Rajalakshmi Automobiles, said the Group had bought out 75 % in Ashok Leyland Wind Energy from Ashok Leyland and Hinduja Foundries.

Last week, Ashok Leyland had said it had diluted stake in Avia Ashok Leyland Motors and Ashok Leyland Wind Energy, but did not disclose the value and name of the company which acquired the stakes.

While declining to comment on the value of the 75 % stake in Ashok Leyland’s renewable energy arm, Meganathan said the enterprise value of Ashok Leyland Wind Energy is around Rs 170 crore.

The remaining stake will be held by the existing promoters for now, he added. Once the acquisition is complete, the company’s name will be changed. Rajalakshmi Group plans to add 137 Mw of wind power and 53 Mw of solar generation capacity.

Renewable energy being a capital-intensive sector, the Group would rope in investors, including private equity and institutional investors, said Meganathan. “The Group is getting a lot of overtures from institutional investors for co-investing in its wind and solar ventures. We will go with one or two of them,” he added. According to Meganathan, the cost of setting up one mega watt of wind power is Rs 5.5 crore and Rs 8 crore per Mw for solar.

The Group, which already has 750 acres of land in Tamil Nadu, will also look at Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

With the Tamil Nadu government planning to strengthen the electricity infrastructure in the state, it is the right time to invest in renewable energy, said Meganathan. He said the Group would sign a power purchase agreement soon. – Business Stadard

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