GDF Suez to invest up to $400 mn in Meenakshi Energy

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GDF Suez said it picked up 74 per cent stake in Meenakshi Energy without disclosing financial details (Reuters) GDF Suez said it picked up 74 per cent stake in Meenakshi Energy without disclosing financial details (Reuters)
SummaryGDF Suez is spending up to $400 million to acquire a 74 per cent stake in Meenakshi Energy.

Marking its debut in the Indian power sector, French energy major GDF Suez is spending up to USD 400 million to acquire a 74 per cent stake in Meenakshi Energy and for investments in the city-based firm's 700 MW project that is expected to be complete by March 2015.

"GDF Suez will end up investing USD 300-400 million by the time the project is completed. This includes the amount spent for picking up equity," D Suresh, Chairman and Managing Director, Meenakshi Energy told PTI.

Meenakshi Energy and Infrastructure Holdings Pvt Ltd is setting up a 1,000 MW coal based project in Krishnapatnam in Nellore district along the east coast of Andhra Pradesh.

The first phase -- 300 MW -- of the plant has already been commissioned while 700 MW is under construction.

The project, with a debt-equity funding of 75:25, would cost Rs 6,000 crore and is estimated to be complete by March 2015, Suresh added.

In a statement, GDF Suez today said it picked up 74 per cent stake in Meenakshi Energy without disclosing financial details.

"This initial project in India is in line with the Group's strategy of investing in fast growing markets and gives the Group an entry point into the Indian power sector through an economically attractive State. India has a growing demand for energy and a significant power supply deficit, Suez said in the statement.

Before the deal, Meenakshi Energy promoters were holding around 58 per cent while, PTC Financial Services Limited (PFS) and IIFCL held 16.76 per cent and 25 per cent stake respectively in the company.

Post-deal, Meenakshi will retain 26 per cent.

KPMG India acted as exclusive financial advisors for Meenakshi Group on the transaction.

Separately, PFS -- a non-banking finance company promoted by power sector player PTC India -- said it has divested its entire 16.76 per cent stake in Meenakshi for Rs 209.73 crore.

"... we have successfully exited from one of our equity investments - Meenakshi Energy Private Ltd. We planned this exit keeping in view, the right opportunity and a robust return which will augment company's net worth," PFS Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer R M Malla said.

PFS said the proceeds from the stake sale would help in strengthening balance sheet and augment loan book growth. The current equity investment exit would further aid headroom for growth.

France's GDF is also developing a floating LNG regasification

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