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Canada's Brookfield tipped as new suitor for India's Suzlon

Mumbai stock exchange asks for clarification over report that Canadian investor wants majority stake

Brookfield has emerged as the latest hot tip to take control of Indian wind group Suzlon, as the Mumbai Stock Exchange instructed the latter to explain media reports linking the Canadian investment group with a deal for a majority stake.

Suzlon – which is facing imminent bond repayments – has proposed a deal with its lenders that involves the acquisition by Brookfield of a majority interest, said India’s Economic Times, citing unnamed sources close to the discussions.

Suzlon shares were trading 11% higher in early afternoon trading in Mumbai following the reports. The stock exchange “sought clarification” from the wind turbine OEM over the matter, with Suzlon later releasing its own filing that it “does not comment on rumours” and that it “continues to work on significant debt reduction as committed”.

Suzlon has faced a flurry of reports in the Indian media over its ability to pay $172m of bond payments due in July.

'Vestas target' Suzlon responds to $172m bond default claim

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Suzlon posted a 15.3bn rupees ($220m) net loss for the latest financial year and its total debts stood at 111bn rupees at the end of May 2019.

Claims of a Brookfield deal come just weeks after similar reports that Danish wind OEM Vestas wanted to take a majority stake in the Indian group, but negotiations broke down over valuation of the business.

Vestas has never confirmed or denied it was interested in Suzlon, which despite its financial troubles still enjoys a leading position in one of the world’s hottest wind power markets.

Suzlon insists it is ideally placed to benefit from an impending boom in the Indian wind market as the country pursues its ambitious renewable energy targets. Its latest full-year results cited a third year of market share gains and a 1.3GW order book that’s “among the largest in the Indian wind industry”.

Suzlon and Brookfield have not so far responded to a request by Recharge to comment on the latest Indian media reports.

Note: Update adds Suzlon BSE filing

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