By Nishel Fernando
Sri Lanka’s largest private-sector renewable energy producer with diverse energy mix, Windforce (Pvt.) Ltd plans to raise up to Rs.3.2 billion by offering a 15 percent stake in the company through an initial public offering (IPO) on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE).
The company’s total power generation capacity stands at 218 MWs (effectively controlling 126MW) and 77 percent of the effective capacity based in Sri Lanka and the rest across Uganda, Pakistan and Ukraine. With the proposed listing, the company is expected to become by far the largest renewable energy player listed on the CSE, exceeding the number two listed renewable energy player by over five times in terms of size.
Windforce’s immediate projects in the pipeline include 15MW wind plant in Mannar and a 30MW solar plant with 7.5MW battery storage in Senegal, effectively adding 33 MW with a total equity investment of Rs.2.31 billion.
From the expected IPO proceeds, the company plans to invest Rs.927 million in the wind plant and Rs.1.38 billion in the solar power plant while retaining the remaining Rs.932 million for future potential projects.
The remaining investment requirement of the two projects is expected to fund through debt. At the end of 2020 financial year, the total debt obligations of the company stood at Rs.6.2 billion.
With the commissioning of the 10MW new solar power plant in Uganda in the current financial year, the company’s earnings are forecasted to increase to Rs.2.6 billion in the year, compared to earnings of Rs.1.89 billion on total operating income of Rs.3.7 billion in 2020 financial year.
Currently, Akbar Brothers has a 38.86 percent stake in the company as the largest shareholder followed by Hirdaramani holding a 27 percent stake. IT product supplier Debug Investments also has 14.29 percent while the corrugated carton manufacturer, Star Pack Investment has a 9.36 percent stake in the company. In addition, MAS Holdings has a 3.89 percent in the company through its subsidiary Amaliya (Private) Limited.
Upon the competition of the proposed IPO, the shareholdings of Akbar Brothers, Hirdaramani, Debug Investments, Star Pack Investment and MAS Holdings are expected to come down to 33.02 percent, 23 percent, 12.14 percent, 7.95 percent and 3.31 percent, respectively.
The company has secured issuer rating of [SL]AA-, with Stable outlook, from ICRA Lanka Limited.
Windforce commenced its operations with the commissioning of Seethagala hydropower plant and later expanded its portfolio of power plants under a separate entity, Renewgen (Pvt.) Ltd. Since 2016, it diversified its power generation mix into solar space.
In 2020, the company was restructured following the acquisition of 100 percent stake in Renewgen (Pvt.) Ltd and consolidating the wind, solar and hydropower segments under one holding company.