Actis buys into Bangladesh power plant, makes Southeast Asia push

 Actis buys into Bangladesh power plant, makes Southeast Asia push

Emerging markets-focused private equity firm Actis has set up a power generation platform to invest in Southeast Asia and parts of South Asia, and closed its first transaction.

Actis said the new platform, Bridgin Power, completed its first investment by acquiring a 49% shareholding in a 220MW combined cycle gas turbine power plant in the Bhola region of Bangladesh.

The PE firm bought the stake from diversified Indian conglomerate Shapoorji Pallonji group. It didn’t disclose financial details of the deal.

The new platform comes barely a couple of months after Actis sold its India renewable energy platform to Shell for $1.55 billion.

Actis said that Bridgin Power will pursue gas-fired power projects in Southeast Asia where power demand is on the rise. It is targeting a total portfolio capacity of 1.2 gigawatt across the region by 2028.

Actis didn’t specify the amount it might invest in Bridgin but said the platform is funded through Actis Energy Fund 5, which last year completed fundraising with $6 billion of investable capital.

Bridgin is led by a management team based in Singapore. The firm’s target geographies include Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

The Bhola plant has a 22-year agreement to sell electricity to Bangladesh Power Development Board and achieved commissioning in June 2021. The project was financed initially by Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Islamic Development Bank and IDCOL Bangladesh. They have now been replaced by a consortium comprising SMBC, ING, DBS, Bank of China, Mizuho and SocGen.

“The acquisition of Bhola asset sets us on our path to create an energy platform of scale, using natural gas as a bridge to a sustainable and low carbon future,” said Dennis Foo, Group CEO, Bridgin Power.

Clifford Chance and Shearman Sterling acted as international legal advisors while F&A and DFDL acted as local law counsel. Standard Chartered, PMC Treasury, Riverstone also acted as advisors for the transaction.

Sumit Upadhyaya

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