Reliance to Buy 40% Stake in EPC Company Sterling & Wilson Solar
The acquisition will help Reliance implement giga-scale solar energy capacity in India
Reliance New Energy Solar Limited (RNESL), the green energy arm of Reliance Industries, has signed an agreement with Shapoorji Pallonji and Company Private Limited (SPCPL) to acquire a 40% stake in Sterling and Wilson Solar through a combination of primary investment, a secondary purchase, and an open offer.
Sterling and Wilson Solar is a Mumbai-based solar engineering, procurement, and construction company and has a presence across 24 countries. It has executed over 11 GW of solar turnkey projects worldwide.
The acquisition will help Reliance access talent, engineering, project management, execution skills, and digital technology. This will also help Reliance implement giga-scale solar energy capacity in India and worldwide.
To acquire the 40% stake, 29.3 million equity shares will be allotted to RNESL at ₹375 (~$4.99) per share, equal to 15.46% post preferential share capital. In addition, RNESL is expected to acquire 18.4 million equity shares for ₹375(~$4.99) per share, accounting for 9.70% of post preferential share capital.
The company will announce an open offer to the public shareholders of Sterling & Wilson Solar to acquire up to 49.1 million equity shares, representing 25.9% of share capital.
Following the acquisition in the open offer, Shapoorji Pallonji and Company and Sterling & Wilson Chairman Solar Khurshed Daruvala will share more of their shares if required for RNESL to acquire a 40% stake in Sterling and Wilson Solar. Daruvala will continue as a Chairman of the Board of Sterling and Wilson Solar.
Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries, said, “We welcome Sterling and Wilson Solar as a strategic partner towards building our new energy platform. Sterling and Wilson Solar, with its engineering talent, deep domain knowledge, global presence, and experience in executing some of the most complex projects globally, will become an important part of our solar value chain. This will enable us to deliver our comprehensive, end-to-end ecosystem leading to cost-efficient green energy for Indian consumers.”
Commenting on the acquisition, Daruvala said, “Reliance, with its integrated new energy vision, and a commitment to put India on the global green energy map, provide us a great opportunity to further establish Sterling and Wilson as a leading EPC solutions provider globally. I am sure this partnership will give Sterling and Wilson Solar new energy and excitement.”
AZB and K Law acted as legal advisors, Ernst and Young as the accounting and tax diligence advisor, and Edelweiss as the financial advisor to Reliance.
DAM Capital acted as financial advisor and Desai & Diwanji acted as legal advisor to Sterling and Wilson and the selling shareholders.
Incorporated in India on March 09, 2017, Sterling and Wilson Solar’s revenue in the first quarter (Q1) of the financial year (FY) 2022 was ₹11.95 billion (~$161.12 million), up 11.8% from the ₹10.68 billion (~$144.07 million) posted in the same quarter in FY 2021.
The acquisition of the stake in Sterling & Wilson Solar comes close on the heels of Reliance’s acquisition of REC Solar Holdings from China National Bluestar Group for $771 million.
In June 2021, Mukesh Ambani announced that Reliance Industries would invest ₹750 billion (~$10 billion) to build an integrated solar PV factory, advanced energy storage battery manufacturing unit, green hydrogen, and fuel cell facility in Gujarat’s Jamnagar.
Harsh Shukla is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Previously with Indian Express, he has covered general interest stories. He holds a Masters Degree in Journalism from Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune.