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September 28, 2010 VC Circle

Auro Mira Energy Raises $21M From Cluster of PEs

Auro Mira Energy Company Private Limited, a Chennai-based renewable energy company, has raised $21 million in a second round of funding from a clutch of PE investors comprising Aureos South Asia Fund, IFC and ePlanet Ventures for a minority stake. Aureos South Asia Fund has invested $8 million into the company, Balaji Srinivas , Managing Partner, Aureos India Advisors Pvt. Ltd told VCCircle, without disclosing the stake amount.

Baring Private Equity, which invested an undisclosed majority amount in the renewable energy company in 2005, has not exited and continues to stay invested in the company, a spokesperson told VCCircle

The monies will be used to drive the company’s expansion plans, which has, commenced four new renewable energy projects in small hydro and biomass sector to attain 100 MW generation capacity by 2012. It currently has two operating biomass projects of 7.5 MW and 10 MW size. The investment by the three private equity investors will enable Auro Mira to complete these projects as well as acquire land and licences for new projects.

Veda Corporate Advisors was the banker to the transaction.

This is the second round of capital infusion by IFC,which has of late skewed its focus more towards energy companies. In 2010, it put in $10 million into the company. Few months back, it invested in Applied Solar Technologies and has invested in several cleantech companies in the recent past including Bhilwara Energy, Azure Power and Attero Recycling.

Aureos Capital has invested in Ordyn Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (communications equipment), Accutest Research Laboratories India Pvt. Ltd. (lifesciences tools & services), Continental Warehousing Corp. (Nhava Sheva) Ltd. (air freight & logistics), HHV Solar Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (electric utilities) and Hindustan Vacuum Glass Ltd. (construction & engineering).

In the background of a growing economy, India’s energy demands are expected to outpace its supply and there is an increased reliance on foreign investors and private domestic players to fill the supply void through infrastructure expansion and introduction of renewable energy sources. And there is a rising interest from the investor class into this space.

Recently, Bangalore based Soham Renewable Energy Pvt Ltd has attracted investor interest to raise $5 million. Amrit Jal Ventures, the holding company of Hyderabad-based Gati Group’s hydel power projects, is also looking to divest around 26% stake for raising Rs 200-250 crore. Companies like Bhilwara Energy and Greenko have already raised money in the past.