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Japanese giant swoops for Indian wind farms

Orix to take full control at 874MW of projects after exercise of option for remaining stake

Japanese finance giant Orix is set to take full control of an 874MW Indian wind portfolio after taking up an option to buy the 51% it doesn’t already own.

Orix will acquire the remaining stake from by IL&FS Wind Energy, a unit of Indian conglomerate IL&FS which had put its majority shareholding up for auction.

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The Japanese group exercised an option to match the highest bid for the seven operating wind farms, which IL&FS said was equivalent to a 100% enterprise value of 48bn rupees ($683m) including debts that came from Indian energy group GAIL.

The Japanese group first took the minority stake in 2016. Completion of the stake acquisition deal is expected by the end of June, subject to various approvals.

Orix – one of Japan’s largest finance houses – is also involved in the emerging Japanese offshore wind sector via a stake in the Kashima Port project off the country’s east coast.

India’s wind sector has attracted the attention of a number of big foreign investors – the likes of Engie and Enel – keen to get a foothold in the industry as it gears up to meet the country's ambitious wind and wider renewable goals.

Those targets have been championed by incumbent Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who exit polls suggest is on course to win another term following six weeks of elections that ended Sunday.

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