Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd to invest Euro 25 million in NexWafe of Germany as Strategic Lead Investor
Mumbai, October 13, 2021
Reliance New Energy Solar Limited (RNESL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), has become a strategic lead investor in NexWafe GMBH of Germany with an investment of EUR 25 million ($ 29 million).
The investment has been made as part of NexWafe's EUR 39 million ($ 45 million) Series C financing round, a press release from the German company said.
Reliance said in a filing to the stock exchanges here that it had entered into an agreement with NexWafe for acquiring 86,887 series C preferred shares of face value of EUR 1 each of NexWafe at a price of EUR 287.73 per share aggregating EUR 25 million.
RNESL will also be issued 36,201 warrants which are exercisable for a consideration of EUR 1 per warrant subject to achievement of agreed milestones, the filing said.
The transaction is proposed to be completed by end of October 2021, it said.
NexWafe is developing and producing monocrystalline silicon wafers grown directly from inexpensive raw materials, going directly from the gas phase to finished wafers, obviating the need for costly and energy intensive intermediate steps such as polysilicon production and ingot pulling on which traditional wafer manufacturing relies. NexWafe uses in-line manufacturing, both for the formation of an initial release layer as well as for epitaxial deposition of silicon in an atmospheric chemical vapor deposition process.
"NexWafe’s unique patented technology is expected to cut wafer production costs, making solar photovoltaics the lowest-cost form of renewable energy available," the filing said.
The acquisition is not a related party transaction and none of the promoter / promoter group / group companies have any interest in NexWafe, Reliance said.
"The investment by RNESL will accelerate product and technology development for NexWafe, including completion of the commercial development of NexWafe’s solar photovoltaics products on prototype lines in Freiburg," it said.
RNESL and NexWafe have also entered into an India Strategic Partnership Agreement providing for joint technology development and commercialization, at scale, of high-efficiency monocrystalline “green solar wafers”. RNESL, under the aforesaid India Strategic Partnership Agreement, will secure access to NexWafe’s proprietary technology and plans to build large-scale wafer manufacturing facilities in India using the NexWafe processes and technology.
NexWafe is a limited liability company incorporated in Germany on May 18, 2015, registered with the commercial register at the local court of Freiburg, Germany. The turnover of NexWafe for FY 2020, FY 2019 and FY 2018 was EUR 141,899, EUR 157,163 and EUR 132,519, respectively.
"The aforesaid transactions will not require any government or regulatory approval," the filing added.
NexWafe said in its release that the investment by Reliance would accelerate product and technology development for it, including completion of the commercial development of NexWafe’s solar photovoltaic products on prototype lines in Freiburg.
"Reliance`s investment in NexWafe further underscores its goal of making India the world’s leading green energy provider by leapfrogging existing technology, thus creating the world’s most cost- and energy-efficient photovoltaic process at scale," it said.
RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani said, “We at Reliance have always believed in being ahead of the technology curve in all our businesses. Our partnership with NexWafe testifies to this yet again, as we embark on an ambitious mission to meet affordable green energy needs of India’s rapidly growing economy. Our investment in NexWafe signals an important step towards accelerating India’s green energy transition and positioning India as a global leader in photovoltaic manufacturing.
"We believe NexWafe’s innovative ultra-thin wafer will give solar manufacturers a significant advantage over existing photovoltaic technologies, helping consumers in India and globally realize the benefits of solar energy more quickly and more efficiently.
"For Reliance, our foray into solar and other types of renewable energy is much more than a business opportunity. It is our way of caring for Planet Earth and contributing to the global mission of saving it from the looming climate crisis.”
Davor Sutija, CEO of NexWafe, said, “With its strategic partnership with NexWafe, Reliance can bring the latest in solar wafer innovation to India while also leveling the global playing field for photovoltaic manufacturers, expanding manufacturing beyond a single source market.”
NexWafe Chairman Bart Markus added: “Reliance is famed for its ability to create quality products at the most competitive prices, so its commitment to helping us reshape and reinvent the silicon wafer will be, we believe, game-changing for helping the world deploy high-efficiency photovoltaics at scale.”
Other investors joining Reliance in the Series C Round include InnoEnergy, Lynwood, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures and other incumbent and new investors, adding another nearly EUR 10 million ($12 million) to the round. Additionally, InnoEnergy, will also convert its current debt of EUR 4 million ($4.7 million) in NexWafe into equity at the same share price as the Series C Round shares, the release added.