India’s top solar technology company, TESL, is set for an unprecedented $3.5 billion valuation, as the US$10 billion sale of its US$5.8 billion stake in Tesla Motors Inc. becomes the world’s biggest private equity deal.
The sale to the US investment firm Bessemer Venture Partners, led by Elon Musk’s brother Jeff, comes on the heels of a $3 billion takeover offer from China’s Huayi Investment Group.
It will also add to the billions already pledged by India to fund solar projects, including a $100 million fund in 2019 to support the rollout of its first gigafactory.
“I have seen some of the early results of this deal.
They are really positive.
I think this will help accelerate the deployment of solar and also make it easier for the government to set up solar projects,” said TESLP Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya, referring to the solar project which was the largest in India at a cost of $1.3 billion.
The company will invest $4.3bn in a new plant, while also setting up two new manufacturing facilities in China, a $500m plant in the US and a $400m plant to produce solar panels.TESL is set on ramping up its US solar business, with more than 2,000 gigawatts (GW) planned over the next two years.
“The investment from Bessemers, along with the $10bn investment from the US, is a very big deal for us.
It’s a very strong investment,” said Ms Bhattahari, who has previously said India needs to invest in its domestic energy sector to help boost growth.
The deal will enable TESLS solar projects to get started as soon as possible and allow it to ramp up the production of solar panels in the near future, she said.
TESOL, which is the parent of the Indian solar technology companies TSL Power, TSL Solar, and TESl Energy, is backed by BesseMER Venture Partners.TSL has been looking to increase its presence in India after it was bought out by China’s SunEdison in 2014.
The transaction is the second for Besseamer, which also owns Indian company SolarWorld and operates solar power plants in India.
It has already bought out three US companies, including SolarCity, in the past.