RIL Arm Buys Norwegian Solar Panel Maker REC for $771 Mn; to Acquire 40% Stake in Sterling & Wilson Solar

In a significant development, Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd (RNESL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), has acquired REC Group from China National Bluestar (Group) Co Ltd, for an enterprise value of about USD 771 million.

October 11, 2021. By Manu Tayal

In a significant development, Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd (RNESL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), has acquired REC Group from China National Bluestar (Group) Co Ltd, for an enterprise value of about USD 771 million.

Besides, the company has also executed definitive agreements with Shapoorji Pallonji and Company Pvt Ltd (SPCPL), Khurshed Daruvala and Sterling & Wilson Solar Ltd (SWSL) to acquire a 40 per cent stake post-money in SWSL.

Through this acquisition, Reliance aimed to expand globally in key green energy markets as Norway-headquartered REC has its operational headquarters in Singapore and regional hubs in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia-Pacific. It has 3 manufacturing facilities – 2 in Norway for making solar-grade polysilicon and one in Singapore making PV cells and modules.

Reliance said that it will strongly support REC’s planned expansions including 2-3 GW cells and module capacity in Singapore, brand new 2 GW cells and module unit in France and another 1 GW modules plant in the US.

In India, Reliance plans to use REC’s industry-leading technology in its fully integrated, metallic Silicon to PV panel manufacturing giga-factory at Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex, Jamnagar initially starting with 4 GW per annum capacity and eventually growing to 10 GW per annum.

Speaking about the acquisition, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd, said, “It is in line with our strategy of investing in new and advanced technologies and operating capabilities aimed at achieving Reliance’s goal of enabling 100 GW clean and green energy before the end of this decade.”

He further added “together with our other recent investments, Reliance is now ready to set up a global scale integrated Photovoltaic Giga factory and make India a manufacturing hub for lowest cost and highest efficiency solar panels. We will continue to invest, build and collaborate with global players to achieve the highest reliability, efficiency and economies to deliver high quality, reliable power at affordable prices to our customers both in India and markets worldwide.”

For the acquisition of Sterling & Wilson Solar, Reliance will require approval of the Competition Commission of India (CCI), Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), shareholders of SWSL and other statutory and regulatory approvals, as may be applicable.

With 11-plus GW of solar turnkey projects executed globally and over 5 decades of engineering experience, SWSL is a leading and highly reputed international EPC and O&M service provider in the renewables sector. The company has a presence across 24 countries, and it provides a comprehensive range of solar energy turnkey solutions including design, procurement, construction, project management, and operations and management.

Combined with Reliance’s announced plans to set up four giga-factories in Jamnagar, Gujarat, the partnership offers a fully integrated product with unrivalled engineering capabilities.

Commenting on the SWSL development, Ambani, said, “SWSL, with its engineering talent, deep domain knowledge, global presence, and experience of executing some of the most complex projects globally, will become an important part of our solar value chain. This will enable us to deliver our comprehensive, end-to-end ecosystem leading to cost-efficient green energy for Indian consumers.”

“We are happy to welcome Reliance in Sterling and Wilson Solar Ltd. Through the decades, spanning three generations, the Shapoorji Pallonji group has helped Sterling and Wilson become a global leader in providing turnkey solutions in the energy value chain. SWSL is now well-poised to make a valuable contribution, as the world transitions to a low-carbon economy. I believe this partnership is beneficial to all stakeholders and will greatly contribute to making India a leading green energy powerhouse,” said Shapoor Mistry, Chairman of Shapoorji Pallonji & Co Pvt Ltd.

Meanwhile, Khurshed Daruvala will continue to be Chairman of the Board and lead the next phase of growth for SWSL.
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