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Macquarie looks to offload entire stake in Soham Renewable

Australian Infrastructure investor Macquarie group is looking to exit Bengaluru-based hydropower developer Soham Renewable Energy India Pvt. Ltd, two people aware of the development said, requesting anonymity.

In November 2011, Macquarie had invested 375 crore in Soham Renewable through a fund managed jointly with India’s largest lender State Bank of India. The flagship entity of the Soham group operates hydropower projects with a cumulative capacity of 53.5 megawatt (MW) in Karnataka.

“The plan to sell its stake in Soham Renewables is part of Macquarie’s plans to exit investments from the first fund,” said the first person. Since 2016, Macquarie has been investing through Macquarie Asia Infrastructure Fund, which had raised over $3.1 billion to invest in Asia, including India.

“They are also running a process to sell road assets housed under Ashoka Concessions Ltd, where they have invested with Ashoka Buildcon. Several investors are in talks with them. They are soon expected to exit GMR Airports, wherein they now have a residual stake,” he added. Macquarie has appointed a boutique investment bank to manage the stake sale, he added.

While Macquarie declined to comment to Mint’s email query, Soham Renewable Energy did not respond till press time.

Mint had reported on 6 November that Cube Highways, a roads platform set up by infra investor I Squared Global and the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), had evinced interest in acquiring the roads assets of Ashoka Concessions.

In 2012, the Macquarie-SBI fund had picked up a 34% stake in Ashoka Concessions, which owns and operates toll-earning road assets, for 800 crore. The remaining stake was held by Ashoka Buildcon. In 2016, Macquarie sold two operational toll road assets in south India—the Farukhnagar-Jadcherla highway in Andhra Pradesh and the Trichy Tollway project in Tamil Nadu—to Spain’s Abertis Infraestructuras, S.A., for 1,000 crore.

Macquarie’s plans to exit its investments in India comes at a time when private equity investments in the domestic infrastructure sector doubled from $7.6 billion in 2018 to $14.2 billion last year, according to data from private investment tracker Venture Intelligence.

Source: Livemint