Equis closes $200m Thai solar deal

The Singapore-based, pan-Asian infrastructure fund manager has completed the first deal from its debut fund, which had raised almost $400m last month on its way to a $500 million target.

Equis Funds Group (Equis), the Singapore-based fund manager, has acquired a 100 percent interest in a portfolio of solar energy assets in Thailand, according to market sources. 

The firm itself has not commented on the transaction but it is understood from sources to be worth some $200 million and involve an equity injection of around $50 million. The seller is believed to be a local developer. 

A deal of this size is enough to propel Equis into the top five solar energy generators in south-east Asia. The firm is understood to be conducting due diligence on other solar energy portfolios and is targeting markets including Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines where investments are available in both grid and off-grid projects.

Equis, which is focused on energy and infrastructure, had last month received committed capital of $386 million for its debut fund on its way to a $500 million target. 

Market sources say they expect that target to be reached within the next few months and that, by the end of the year, the fund may go on to reach its hard cap of $750 million. 

Equis was launched towards the beginning of last year by five founding partners headed by chief executive David Russell, the former head of Asian private equity and Greater China at Macquarie Group. 

The other four founders were: Lance Comes, who was head of infrastructure and principal investments Korea at Macquarie Capital Group; Adam Ballin, former head of acquisitions at Macquarie Korea Infrastructure Fund; Josh Carmody, who was head of the Asian Development Bank’s Asia Pacific Carbon Fund; and Rajpal Singh Chaudhary, a former partner at Assetz Group, an Indian PPP development firm.

A sixth partner is George Cowan, who has 30 years of operational experience in the Asian energy and power sectors with the likes of Petrocom Energy Limited, Marubeni Power Asset Management and West Sea Water and Power Company. In all, Equis lists 14 team members on its website across its offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing and Bangalore.