Largest publicly owned ESCO from India acquires CHP market leader EDINA

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Acting on this project has been a very rewarding journey for us and our clients. We were retained in 2017 to act for EPAL (the joint venture vehicle between English developer EnergyPro and EESL, established in 2009 and currently the world’s largest publicly owned super ESCO and one of the most highly regarded innovative finance companies).

Given India’s extensive need for energy efficient power generation, EESL expanded its business model to include an earmarked £150 million investment programme of strategic acquisitions in Europe and beyond, to help diversify its portfolio. EPAL’s first UK acquisition was a portfolio of energy efficiency performance contracts developed by Anesco. They then went on to acquire a battery storage project in Ontario, Canada. The £55 million acquisition of Edina (the market leading provider of energy efficient CHP engines in the UK, with a presence in Dublin, Lisburn and Stockport) followed in 2018.

The aim was to grow the Edina business into a global leader and creating a platform to scale up the combined heat and power market (and adoption of tri-generation technology) in India, further transforming the energy landscape in India, enhancing its energy security and achieving significant reductions in its current carbon footprint. An interview with EESL’s Managing Director, Saurabh Kumar, is here, explaining EESL’s impressive progress and transformative agenda even prior to the Edina acquisition, with another interview here, following the acquisition.

The Edina acquisition is the largest and strategically most significant international direct investment by EESL to date.

The transaction involved creating the JV and investment arrangements between EESL and EneryPro, followed by full due diligence of the Edina business – a journey that took us from Colorado all the way to New Zealand, via Dublin, Lisburn, Stockport, London, Switzerland, Germany and India – unfortunately only from the safety of our desks.

We negotiated the share purchase agreement, as well as the full suite of acquisition financing arrangements with the senior and mezzanine funders, including all intercreditor arrangements between the numerous existing and new funders to Edina. And when a change in India’s investment legislation was introduced half-way through the transaction, we took the lead in restructuring the financing accordingly.

We supported EPAL and its shareholders every step of the way, with strategic board-level advice as well as all day-to-day negotiations, to ensure the success of the transaction. But when the documents were signed in 2018, the real journey of Edina, now under new ownership, had only begun. Since then, we continue to advise Edina and EPAL on their legal needs, as well as offering a sounding board to management, on their continued journey to leveraging their investments, including making Edina the global market leader.

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Neelima jain, ceo, epal, and a Director at Edina

The acquisition is an important development in bringing together the efforts of two companies that have achieved distinguishing competencies in their respective energy efficiency markets. This partnership has far-reaching implications on the global energy sustainability scenario, and for promoting low-carbon growth by industries in Europe and Asia. With CHP technology’s contribution to the UK energy portfolio expected to double between 2015 and 2020, UK is a promising market for EESL to grow its own capabilities in the trigeneration sector.
— Neelima Jain, CEO, EPAL, and a Director at Edina