Mumbai: Two renewable energy firms are set to unveil stock market listing plans in the coming weeks, giving investors a new way to gain exposure to the sector at a time when India is pushing to make renewable power a bigger part of its energy mix.
Adani Green Energy, a subsidiary of trading firm Adani Enterprises Ltd, is expected to be spun out and listed on Indian stock exchanges within the next two weeks, said two bankers familiar with the company's plans.
Separately, ReNew Power, India's biggest company in terms of renewable energy assets, is expected to file papers with regulators for an initial public offering as early as next week, the two bankers said.
The two companies will be the first new pure-play renewable energy firms to list in India, since wind energy firm Orient Green Power's listing eight years ago.
The sector has in recent years drawn significant interest from large global sovereign funds and private equity firms including Warbug Pincus, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Singapore's GIC and Macquarie Capital.
The listings will help investors gauge market interest and set a bar on valuations for rivals that may also explore listings, say bankers.
Adding over 100 gigawatts of renewable capacity will require "significant capital and private markets alone can't fund all of it," said Alok Verma, Executive Director of Investment Banking at Kotak.
India will need over $125 billion to fund its plan to add 175 gigawatts of renewable power to its grid by 2022. The clean energy industry is looking beyond domestic banks, which account for most of the industry's financing.
To put the financing requirement in context, researcher Mercom estimates corporate funding for the global solar industry was $12.8 billion last year.
Investors are scrambling to raise money and capture market share in India's expanding green energy sector amid tight deadlines.
Another reason for firms seeking IPOs "may be also the promised exit to the investors," said Sunil Jain, chief executive of Hero Future Energies Ltd, referring to private equity investors who typically look to sell stakes after a certain number of years.
"Adani Enterprises plans to offload around a quarter of its stake in Adani Green," one of the bankers said, adding this will be followed by Goldman Sachs-backed ReNew's IPO.
"Creation of a dedicated entity for our renewable energy portfolio reflects Adani Group's commitment for the green energy," said an Adani spokesperson in an emailed response.
"Soon-to-be-listed venture Adani Green Energy Limited will continue to add renewable energy generation capacity in India, Australia and other geographies determinedly," the spokesperson said.
With operating assets of 3.6 GW and 2 GW under construction, ReNew is seen as "big enough to raise substantial capital" from the market, another banker said.
The company, which counts Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and other big firms as investors, could raise up to $900 million.
ReNew Power did not respond to an email seeking comment.
The companies are expected to be followed by several other companies aiming to raise funds. Sembcorp India, a unit of Singapore's Sembcorp Industries, ACME Solar and Mytrah Energy India also have plans for listing.
The three companies did not reply to emails seeking comment.
While the Renew and Adani Green listings are expected to garner strong valuations given the size and scale of the assets they control, bankers warn listings by smaller rivals may fail to attract strong interest.
"We're not going to see six to nine successful IPOs in the next two years. We might see one or two successful ones," said Rahul Goswami, Managing Director, Greenstone Energy Advisors, noting small new players have undermined economics of some assets by bidding aggressively at very low tariffs.
In India, firms seeking to win rights to set-up renewable energy assets enter a bidding process with the company offering to supply power at the lowest possible tariff winning the auction process.