Malaysia’s PETRONAS Acquires Singapore’s Distributed Solar Company Amplus Energy

The acquisition is part of PETRONAS’ strategy to grow its renewable energy business

April 15, 2019


Malaysia’s state-owned oil and gas company, PETRONAS, has announced the acquisition of Singapore-based Amplus Energy Solutions Pte Ltd (M+). In a media statement issued by PETRONAS, the company stated that it has entered into an agreement with I Squared capital to acquire 100% interest in M+.

M+ is backed by I Squared Capital, an independent global infrastructure asset manager that invests in energy, utilities, telecom and transport in North America, Europe, and high growth economies in Asia and Latin America. The firm has over $13 billion of assets under management. M+ focuses on commercial and industrial customers in India, to provide them with rooftop and ground-mounted solar power. The company has a portfolio of over 500 MW capacity under operation and development, with 275 projects across 20 states in the country.

Commenting on the transaction, Gautam Bhandari, founding partner at I Squared Capital stated, “Under I Squared Capital, M+ grew by over 400% annually to become a world-class, end-to-end company serving the corporates in Asia to reduce their greenhouse gases and combat climate change. We believe that M+ will continue to play a leading role in building a greener future thanks to an outstanding management team and wish them and PETRONAS the best in their future endeavors.”

The acquisition, which is expected to be completed this month, is part of PETRONAS’ strategy to enter the international renewable energy market. Recently, the company announced a collaboration with UiTM Holdings Sdn Bhd, the investment arm of Universiti Teknologi Mara, to jointly develop large-scale solar photovoltaic power projects and on-campus energy optimization and solar rooftop projects.

Mercom’s latest report on Q1 2019 Solar funding and M&A, covers the growing global trend of oil and gas majors coming forward to fund solar companies and also acquire them. The companies leading this trend include BP, Shell, Engie, and Total among others.

PETRONAS President and Group Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin said: “This acquisition reflects PETRONAS’ strategic intent to grow in the renewable energy space as part of our strategy to step out beyond oil and gas into the new energy business. This also represents our first international solar venture, and we look forward to providing energy solutions to our customers in these high growth energy markets.”

In August 2018, Sanjeev Agarwal, CEO of Amplus, in an interview with Mercom had said that Amplus had a total portfolio of over 300 MW of operational and under construction solar capacity across 200 sites, and in 20 states in India. Out of the 300 MW, 280 MW had already been commissioned then.

In Jan 2019, Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Limited (RIIHL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited, announced entering into a binding agreement with Kanoda Energy Systems Private Limited (KESL) for the acquisition of equity shares for a cash consideration not exceeding ₹750 million (~$10.8 million). The said investment translates into 88 percent equity stake in KESL on a fully diluted basis. The total investment is likely to be completed by March 2020.