By Anshuman Daga and Sergio Goncalves
SINGAPORE/LISBON (Reuters) - EDP Renewables (EDPR) has bought a majority stake in Southeast Asian renewables firm Sunseap Group, creating a solid platform for the Portuguese company to accelerate growth in Asia, the CEO of EDP group and EDPR told Reuters.
The deal values Sunseap at S$1.1 billion ($816 million)
This follows a Reuters report last week that EDPR, 75% owned by Energias de Portugal, Portugal's biggest utility, was in late-stage talks to buy out the stake held in Sunseap by Thai energy firm Banpu, Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings, a Temasek-backed fund and other investors.
Earlier on Wednesday, Banpu PCL said it had agreed to sell its 47.5% shareholding in Sunseap for about S$490 million, to EDPR, the world's fourth-largest renewable energy producer. Banpu is the biggest shareholder in Sunseap.
EDPR also agreed to buy the stakes of other shareholders, increasing its position to 87.4% in Sunseap. This share may rise to 91.4% when the deal is concluded.
"This acquisition will complement EDPR's portfolio globally, beyond its current markets, and position it as a powerful platform for growth in Asia-Pacific," said Miguel Stilwell d'Andrade, CEO of EDP and EDPR.
Funded by Japanese firms and other investors, the decade-old Sunseap is a solar energy system developer, owner and operator in Singapore.
Sunseap's portfolio includes 5.5 GW of renewable projects at different stages of development in nine markets: Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, China, Japan and Taiwan, EDPR said.
"We are going to use Sunseap to develop not only its own projects through organic development but, if we see interesting opportunities for EDPR, we will not stop looking at them," Stilwell d'Andrade said.
"But I'm not expecting any acquisition of this size," he added.
EDPR has a portfolio with a total capacity of 13 GW, mainly in Europe, the United States and Brazil.
Reuters had reported that EDPR was in talks to buy a significant majority stake in Sunseap, in a deal that would also involve EDPR making substantial investments in the business.
Sunseap said that EDPR is investing at a time when Sunseap is expanding its footprint, with a 2.2 gigawatt project to build a floating photovoltaic farm and an energy storage system in Indonesia's Batam island.
($1 = 1.3483 Singapore dollars)
(Editing by Christopher Cushing, Jacqueline Wong and Toby Chopra)