Lloyds-Backed Indian Energy Expects Offer From Buyer in Weeks

Indian Energy Ltd. (IEL), an operator of wind farms backed by Lloyds Banking Group Plc (LLOY) and AXA Investment Managers, expects a formal offer from a potential buyer within weeks.

“We want to see a deal concluded in a relatively short period of time,” Chief Executive Officer Rupert J. Strachwitz, co-founder of the company and former financier at Dresdner Kleinwort’s private equity division, said in a telephone interview late yesterday. “We’re talking weeks, not months.”

The company is looking for a strategic investor to help grow the business, he said. He declined to say how much it hopes to raise. The party could offer to buy out part or all of the company, he said.

If the negotiations don’t work out, the company may sell its wind farms in India, he said. Guernsey-based Indian Energy, which is listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market, is in exclusive talks with a party whom Strachwitz declined to identify, citing a confidentiality agreement.

Potential investors in Indian Energy may be smaller private companies looking for scale in the country’s fragmented wind industry, said Adam Forsyth, a partner at London-based investment bank Matrix Group Ltd.

“A possibility is somebody looking to do a consolidation play in the Indian wind sector,” Forsyth said by telephone from Edinburgh yesterday.

Acquisition Plan

Indian Energy owns and operates two wind farms totaling 41.3 megawatts in the south Asian nation, which added the most new wind capacity last year behind China and the U.S. It aims to expand its portfolio to 300 megawatts by 2013 by buying already operating wind farms or those in advanced development to avoid India’s land-permitting regulations for new projects.

It has no intention of scaling back those plans and is talking to a range of parties including financial investors, Indian and non-Indian, Strachwitz said.

“We have sufficient capital to go on for some time but we don’t believe being in limbo is creating any value for our shareholders,” Strachwitz said.

Indian Energy raised 9.75 million pounds ($16 million) from its September 2009 initial public offering, which attracted investors including Lloyds’ Scottish Widows insurance unit, AXA SA (CS), and Standard Life Plc. Indian Energy had entered into exclusive talks with a separate company in January. That party didn’t make a formal bid and the exclusivity arrangement expired, Strachwitz said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Natalie Obiko Pearson in Mumbai at npearson7@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net.

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