KKR expands India portfolio by acquiring five solar assets for $204m

The acquisition of the five operational assets, which have a total capacity of 317MWp, marks the US firm’s second investment in the country.

Nearly a year after launching its Asia-Pacific infrastructure strategy, KKR has made its second investment in India. The New York-based firm has agreed to acquire five solar energy assets from Shapoorji Pallonji Infrastructure Capital (SP Infra), a Mumbai-based infrastructure developer, for 15.5 billion rupees ($204.5 million; €188.5 million).

The assets, which are all operational, are in the western state of Maharashtra (169MWp) and the southern state of Tamil Nadu (148MWp).

KKR said it is making the investment through its infrastructure fund. However, it did not specify whether it was referring to KKR Asia Pacific Infrastructure Investors, a region-focused fund it launched last June, which has a target of between $1.5 billion and $2 billion. According to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the firm had raised $1.4 billion as of 31 December. A spokesman for KKR declined to comment.

The transaction is the firm’s second infrastructure investment in India. It comes nearly a year after KKR invested in India Grid Trust, which manages a portfolio of 11 electricity transmission assets, alongside Singapore’s GIC. Last May, the firm invested 10.8 billion rupees, and GIC 9.8 billion rupees, to jointly acquire 42 percent of IndiGrid’s outstanding units.

At the time, KKR said it had also applied to become a sponsor of IndiGrid, and would acquire an additional 15 percent of the trust’s total units from Sterlite Power – the Indian power transmission company that founded IndiGrid in 2016. It is unclear whether that has occurred but, according to the IndiGrid website, Sterlite Power remains the trust’s sponsor.

KKR has been gearing up its strategy in Asia-Pacific since it hired David Luboff, previously a senior managing director at Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, to lead the firm’s infrastructure strategy in the region in January 2019.

Last August, he told Infrastructure Investor that KKR would be focusing on India, South Korea, the Philippines, Japan and South-East Asia.

“We will look at China and Australia opportunistically,” he said at the time.

In January, KKR confirmed it had hired Andrew Jennings, formerly of QIC, as a senior director. Reporting to Luboff, his role entails sourcing investment opportunities and managing assets within the portfolio.