November 24, 2015 / 10:24 AM / 4 years ago

SunEdison to sell 425 MW of solar projects in India to 'yieldco'

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI (Reuters) - U.S. solar company SunEdison Inc said it would sell projects in India with generating capacity of 425 megawatts (MW) to its “yieldco” TerraForm Global Inc for $231 million.

Solar panels are seen inside the premises of the Jaisalmer Airport in Rajasthan, India, in this file photo from August 13, 2015. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee/Files

Heavily indebted SunEdison said earlier this month that it would stop selling projects to its two yieldcos — dividend-paying units that hold generating assets of a parent solar or wind power company — until market conditions improved.

“We’ll go through evaluation of good opportunities and wherever it makes sense we’ll continue to transact with the cash available in our yieldcos already,” Pashupathy Gopalan, SunEdison Asia Pacific’s president, told Reuters on Tuesday.

Shares of the company, which also said a unit had repaid almost all money related to a margin loan with Deutsche Bank, rose as much as 16.3 percent.

“We believe a significant portion of the recent volatility around the company and its subsidiaries has been attributed to the margin loan,” SunEdison Chief Executive Ahmad Chatila said in a statement.

Up to Monday’s close, SunEdison’s shares had lost nearly 69 percent of their value since Oct. 7 when the company said it would stop sales of renewable energy assets to its “yieldcos” and sell more projects to third parties. Sales to third-parties generally mean higher prices for the assets.

SunEdison, which grew quickly through acquisitions, has been plagued by liquidity concerns, and the company reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss earlier this month.

TerraForm Global, whose shares fell as much as 7.5 percent to $5.02 on Tuesday, has canceled plans to buy other assets to buy SunEdison’s projects, SunEdision said.

SunEdison operates Indian solar plants with capacity of about 450 MW. It has another 800 MW of capacity under development and recently won a tender for a 500 MW plant in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

“We continue to expand in India ... It will become a country of even more importance for us,” Gopalan told reporters earlier on Tuesday.

India is targeting 100 gigawatts of solar power by 2022, or about 33 times today’s level, to help to address chronic power shortages.

Gopalan said SunEdison continued to look at selling projects in various countries to raise capital.

“To grow you need capital. Our balance sheet does not have the necessary capital,” he said.

SunEdison has terminated a deal to buy Continuum Wind Energy, which has most of its assets in India, he said.

Reporting by Tommy Wilkes, Sumeet Chatterjee and Shubhankar Chakravorty; Editing by David Goodman and Ted Kerr

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