AMP Capital Asia fund backs Indian energy firm

The AMP Capital Asian Giants Infrastructure Fund, which has $161m in capital, has acquired a minority stake in Indian clean energy business Shalivahana Green Energy through an investment of almost $29m.

Australian fund manager AMP Capital’s Asian Giants Infrastructure Fund (AGIF) has paid “almost” $29 million for a “significant” minority stake in Shalivahana Green Energy Limited (SGEL), an Indian clean energy firm.

Based in Hyderabad, SGEL develops, owns and operates a portfolio of power generation assets across the agri-waste, hydro and wind sectors. It has an operating capacity of 80 megawatts (MW), with another 45MW to be completed in the next six months. It also has a 300MW pipeline, of which 60MW is small hydro projects.

Anoop Seth, AMP Capital’s head of infrastructure Asia, claimed in a statement that SGEL has a “unique”portfolio given its geographical and fuel diversification. He added that renewable energy in India benefited from favourable regulation. “Since 2002, renewable grid capacity as a percentage of total capacity has increased by almost four times,” he pointed out.

The investment sees two members of AMP Capital’s team join the SGEL board. Existing investors in the firm include the International Finance Corporation and Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Group, the Indian infrastructure company.

AGIF targets growth-oriented infrastructure investments in India and China in sectors including transportation, energy/utilities, telecommunications and urban infrastructure.

The fund has so far raised $161 million, following a first close on $95 million in March 2009 and two further commitments – from a UK pension fund and Japanese pension fund – in January 2011, worth a combined $66 million.

Also in January 2011, the fund made its first investment in China when acquiring just over 19 percent of Qujing Gas, which holds a 30-year concession to run the gas distribution franchise in Qujing City, the second-largest city in Yunnan province. The fund also has investments in a road developer and telecoms infrastructure company in India.