KKR launches renewables platform in India

The private equity firm is seeding Virescent Infrastructure with five solar assets it acquired earlier this year from an Indian developer.

KKR has launched Virescent Infrastructure, a renewable energy platform it plans to grow by acquiring a diverse portfolio of operational assets.

The build-out of the platform will be “facilitated by investments predominantly made through KKR’s infrastructure fund”, the New York-based firm said in a statement.

“The fund is the Asia-focused infrastructure fund,” Sanjay Grewal, whom KKR recently hired to serve as chief executive of Virescent, told Infrastructure Investor, referring to KKR Asia Pacific Infrastructure Investors, the firm’s first fund focusing on the region. According to KKR’s latest quarterly report, the fund has already exceeded its $2 billion target by $800 million as of 30 September. KKR’s spokeswoman said the fund is still open to investors.

KKR is seeding the platform with five solar assets, with a combined total capacity of 317MW, which it acquired in April from Shapoorji Pallonji Infrastructure Capital, a Mumbai-based infrastructure developer, for 15.5 billion rupees ($207.5 million; €178.1 million).

The US firm said it has also entered into definitive agreements to acquire other operating solar projects across three states, which will become part of the Virescent platform, but did not provide details.

“The launch of Virescent is a meaningful milestone for KKR’s Asia-Pacific infrastructure strategy amid India’s ambitions to install 175GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 and 450GW by 2030,” Hardik Shah, a managing director on KKR’s infrastructure team said in the statement.

Virescent is KKR’s third investment in India. In May 2019, KKR and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC invested 10.8 billion rupees and 9.8 billion rupees, respectively, to acquire 42 percent of India Grid Trust’s outstanding shares.