GIP makes $5bn renewables bet on Equis

BY Richard Summerfield

US investment fund Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and a number of partners, including Canada's Public Sector Pension Investment Board and the Chinese sovereign fund China Investment Corp, have agreed to acquire Equis Energy in a $5bn deal, including $1.3bn in debt. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018.

Equis is the largest renewable energy independent power producer operator in the Asia‐Pacific region, with over 180 assets in operation, construction and development across Australia, Japan, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand with a capacity in excess of 11 gigawatts.

The deal is the largest ever transaction in the renewable energy space, an industry which has begun to see increased activity in recent years. As governments, particularly in Asia, continue to seek out alternatives to fossil fuels to meet rising energy demand and combat pollution, the renewables industry will likely see increased dealmaking activity.

David Russell, chief executive of Equis and chairman of Equis Energy, said: “The investment by GIP and its partners is exciting news for the development of renewable energy in the Asia‐Pacific. GIP has a strong track record of managing and growing utility‐scale infrastructure businesses, and the combination of experience and knowledge across GIP and the existing management team will allow Equis Energy to continue expanding competitively across its target markets.”

Adebayo Ogunlesi, chairman and managing partner of GIP, said: “We are excited by the new investment in Equis Energy, which is a strong fit with GIP’s global renewable investment strategy. Equis Energy is a unique success story in the APAC region as it has systematically executed its growth strategy since its founding 5 years ago. In that period, Equis Energy has become one of the leading renewable energy platforms in the region, with a best‐in‐class business model, a high‐ quality asset portfolio and an outstanding management team. We look forward to continuing the Equis Energy success story in the years to come and to supporting new growth opportunities in one of the most promising renewable energy markets in the world.”

There was reportedly considerable interest in Equis. GIP and partners are believed to have beaten a number of rivals, including global pension funds and several buyout firms, in order to acquire the company.

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