I Squared Capital to set up renewable energy platform

Source: LiveMint.com, Dec 04, 2018

Mumbai: Global infrastructure fund I Squared Capital is creating a new renewable assets platform that will acquire and develop utility-scale projects, said two people aware of the development. Founded in 2012 by former Morgan Stanley executives, I Squared Capital focuses on energy, utilities and transport in North America, Europe and some high-growth economies such as India. The firm has offices in New York, Houston, London, New Delhi, Hong Kong and Singapore.

In April 2015, it had announced the final close of its first infrastructure fund, ISQ Global Infrastructure Fund, at $3 billion. Earlier this year, the investor said it has closed its second global infrastructure fund with $7 billion in capital commitments.

“While they have been in the renewable space through their other platform, Amplus Energy Solutions, which is into rooftop solar installations, they now plan to enter the utility-scale large projects space, which they have so far stayed away from,” said the first person cited above, requesting anonymity.

The new platform initiative is being headed by Harsh Agrawal, managing director and India head of I Squared Capital, he said.

“They (I Squared) are looking initially to acquire assets to build the platform, but will eventually also set up a team that will help them bid for and develop greenfield projects,” the person added.

Email queries to Gautam Bhandari, a partner at I Squared Capital, and Agrawal, did not elicit any response till press time.

I Squared Capital’s plans to set up the new renewables platform suggests its increasing interest in India.

In September, Mint had reported that with its second fund in place, I Squared Capital was looking to enter the infrastructure debt business in India. The report said that it will set up a non-banking financial company (NBFC) and an alternative investment fund, which will allow it to tap the debt market here through various products, including structured credit and special situations lending. The investor is also likely to set up an asset reconstruction company.

I Squared is likely to invest over $1 billion from the new fund into India and credit will form a significant part of the strategy and investments, Mint reported.

In India, I Squared Capital has so far set up two platforms—Cube Highways, a roads and highways platform, and Amplus Energy Solutions, which builds rooftop solar projects.

Cube Highways was set up along with International Finance Corp. The platform owns and operates over 1,700 lane-km of highways across a diverse portfolio of toll and annuity-based roads, as of December 2017. Last December, a Mitsubishi Corp.-led consortium had acquired a 20% stake in Cube Highways.

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