Indian solar developer and power producer Azure Power Global has filed for an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, aiming to raise approximately $100 million, according to an F-1 filing with the SEC. Barclays is the sole bookrunner.
Azure has raised hundreds of millions in equity and debt from Foundation Capital, Helion Ventures, IFC (the World Bank's investment firm), and German development bank DEG. Diane Farrell, president of the U.S.-India Business Council, is board director. Foundation's Bill Elmore is on the board, as is Robert Kelly, former CFO at SolarCity.
According to CEO Inderpreet Wadhwa, as reported by IBN, the company is "not in the business of selling solar power plants; we only sell power.”
Here are a few tidbits from the SEC document:
- Azure operates 17 utility-scale projects and several commercial rooftop projects with a total rated capacity of 242 megawatts across 13 Indian states. Almost all of the PPAs are 25-year contracts
- 11 projects with a total capacity of 244 megawatts are in construction
- Last year, Azure commissioned its largest solar power plant and the largest under India's National Solar Mission, a 100-megawatt PV installation at Jodhpur in Rajasthan
- Azure looks to grow its operating capacity to 520 megawatts by 2017
- Longer-term goals are to achieve 1 gigawatt committed or operating by 2018 and 5 gigawatts by 2021
- The company is also "developing microgrid applications for the highly fragmented and underserved [Indian] electricity market"
- The company aims to keep project development, EPC, financing and O&M services in-house, "without involving multiple third-party services"
The company had 2015 fiscal year revenue of $17.6 million with a net loss of $17.1 million. 2014 fiscal year revenue was $13 million with a loss of $11.4 million. Four customers -- NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam, Solar Energy Corporation of India, Punjab State Power Corporation, and Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam account for more than 80 percent of Azure's business.
Here's how the company describes its business:
The typical project plan timeline for our projects is approximately one year. The major stages of project sourcing, development and operation are bidding, land acquisition, financing, material delivery and installation, and monitoring and maintenance. Once a bid is won, a letter of intent is issued and all of our departments initiate their activities. After that, the PPA is signed, which reflects the commercial operation date before which a plant should be commissioned. Generally, once the letter of intent is received, we obtain the relevant land permits, depending on whether the land is government-owned or private. We generally finance our projects with 75:25 debt-to-equity ratio. Once land is obtained, our EPC team works very closely to construct and deliver the plant in the most efficient manner. Once commissioned, our O&M team monitors performance of all the projects near real time.
The U.S. IPO climate is bleak, with little Q1 2016 promise and less-than-stellar performances from the 2015-vintage IPO entrants. Cleantech IPO conditions for an India-based solar power provider would not seem ideal -- but Barclays, Azure and its investors are betting that the timing is right for the Indian solar market and one of its leading developers.
India upped its 2022 PV goal to 100 gigawatts as part of the Modi-led National Democratic Alliance’s drive to cut coal usage.
PV Magazine suggests that "India is likely to end 2015 with cumulative installed solar PV capacity of 5 gigawatts, which means that to achieve 100 gigawatts by 2022, the country would have to increase its solar market at a compound annual growth rate of 63 percent."
That kind of industry growth rate is what drives Azure's IPO hopes.