By Myrna M. Velasco – September 30, 2018, 10:00 PM
from Manila Bulletin
Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) is now finalizing its acquisition of roughly 40 percent equity in Solar Philippines, a company owned and being steered into aggressive expansion by millennial-businessman Leandro Leviste.
A source from the Korean company confirmed the merger and acquisition (M&A) deal, adding that the parties “have already agreed on the price… and the transaction is due to be completed soon.”
The source refused to divulge the acquisition cost, but according to industry sources, Leviste “fetched a good price” from his soon-to-be foreign partner.
The deal, it was noted, had been worked on by a big team of business development group from the Korean firm, which had also undertaken the requisite due diligence processes.
A major portfolio of Solar Philippines is its 63.3-megawatt (MW) solar farm in Calatagan, Batangas, which had been among the projects qualified for feed-in-tariff (FIT) incentives as endorsed by the Department of Energy (DOE) and subsequently issued with FIT-certificate of compliance (COC) by the Energy Regulatory Commission.
The company also pioneered micro-grid system for a 2.0MW installation coupled with battery storage to serve the electricity needs of Mindoro island-grid.
Prior to the Leviste-led firm’s foray into utility-scale solar farms, the company kick-started solar rooftop installations in commercial establishments such as the SM North in Edsa, Quezon City; Robinsons Place in Palawan; Central Mall in Biñan, Laguna; and City Mall in Roxas, Capiz.
Solar Philippines has likewise been casting on blueprint overseas expansions, which could potentially be advanced now with its deep-pocketed foreign partner.
The offshore investments it had set its goals on include those in India, Indonesia, Myanmar and other Asian markets.
The company also stirred up competition in the industry with its offer of low-cost power supply contracts to Manila Electric Company (Meralco) on proposed solar farm projects that shall eventually be injected into the utility firm’s load network.
The company is also branching out further through a new corporate subsidiary, Solar Para sa Bayan Corporation, the proposed franchise of which has yet to overcome some hurdles thrown its way.
The new company initially targets energization of at least 12 areas, including Mindoro, Palawan, Masbate, Cagayan and Aurora – but has grander plans to go nationwide at un-served and under-served areas.
In the propounded Solar Para Sa Bayan franchise, Leviste noted that it entails a “non-exclusive right to construct solar-battery mini-grids at zero cost to the government.”