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October 19, 2007

Deal Alert: IDFC PE leads $100 M investment in Moser Baer's solar cell subsidiary

Edited extracts from the press release:

Moser Baer to raise $100 million in its wholly owned photovoltaic subsidiary

• $100 million to be raised from a consortium led by IDFC Private Equity, consisting of GIC Special Investments, IDFC & CDC Group plc.

• Proceeds to partially fund Moser Baer’s overall plans to expand photovoltaic (PV) capacity to 500MW by 2010

• A structured transaction to position the PV subsidiary for a potential IPO on an international exchange.

New Delhi-based Moser Baer, India's largest and the world’s second largest optical storage media manufacturer announced today that it has received the approval of its Board of Directors to raise $100 million (Rs. 400 crores) in its wholly owned photovoltaic subsidiary. The investment will be made by a consortium of investors led by IDFC Private Equity, a private equity fund focused on the infrastructure space in India; together with GIC Special Investments, a private equity arm the Singapore's foreign reserves; CDC Group plc (the UK government owned emerging markets fund of funds investor) and Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC), India’s leading infrastructure development and finance company.

Moser Baer’s photovoltaic subsidiary will use the proceeds to partially finance its overall plans to increase capacity to 500 MW by 2010 – making it one of the largest players in the global photovoltaic industry. Additionally, the transaction will position the photovoltaic subsidiary for a listing on an international exchange.

"While the photovoltaic business has recently commenced commercial operations, this innovative deal has set a minimum threshold valuation for the photovoltaic business at US$1 billion," said Mr Ratul Puri, Executive Director, Moser Baer.

Ravi Khanna, CEO of the PV Business added "Moser Baer is implementing a differentiated strategy in the high growth global photovoltaic business. The company through its wholly owned subsidiaries is leveraging existing capabilities to create differentiation in silicon technology and also straddling multiple new, potential disruptive technologies to provide optimized products to customers/installations across the world."

Mr. Prakash Karnik, Managing Director – Investments, IDFC Private Equity, commented, "The global photovoltaic industry will continue to experience rapid growth, especially with the increased focus on cost reduction and improving system efficiencies. Access to new technologies, having clear roadmaps, to challenge grid parity pricing will be one of the key competitive advantages in the emerging PV space in the long term. Given the global environmental concerns, we at IDFC Private Equity are pleased to make an investment in the green infrastructure space”.

Globally, given the rapid growth of the photovoltaic industry, there is currently a shortage of silicon wafers, a key raw material for the photovoltaic industry. Moser Baer has implemented a flexible three pronged model for securing raw material supply through a mix of strategic investments in silicon manufacturing, long term wafer supply contracts and spot purchases. The company’s photovoltaic manufacturing capacities for crystalline silicon, concentrator and thin film technologies are coming up in one of India’s first renewable SEZ’s in Greater Noida.

About Moser Baer India: Moser Baer, headquartered in New Delhi, India, was established in 1983. The company has successfully developed cutting edge technologies for recordable optical media, constantly innovating and introducing new products and process. The company currently has over 6,000 full-time employees and multiple manufacturing facilities in the suburbs of New Delhi. The company services it's customers through 6 marketing offices and subsidiaries/affiliates in India, the US, Europe and Japan. An emphasis on high quality products and services has enabled Moser Baer to emerge as one of India's leading technology companies. Moser Baer, through its wholly owned subsidiaries is in the business of manufacturing photovoltaic cells and modules by straddling multiple technologies including crystalline silicon, concentrator, nano technologies and thin films. Website:

About IDFC Private Equity (IDFC PE): IDFC PE is the leading infrastructure focused private equity investor in India. It manages funds of Rs. 28,500 million (US$ 630 million). Some investments of IDFC PE include GMR Infrastructure (exited), Gujarat State Petronet, Chalet Hotels, Hotel Leelaventures (exited), Delhi International Airport, L&T Infrastructure Developers, Manipal Health Systems, Gujarat Pipavav Port and Krishna Godavari Gas Network.

About GIC Special Investments ("GIC SI"): GIC SI was set up in 1982 as the private equity investment arm of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation Pte Ltd and manages a diversified global portfolio of investments in venture capital and private equity funds, as well as direct investments in private companies. Its investments over the years have covered the areas of leveraged buyouts, venture capital, growth capital, mezzanine financing, distressed situations and other special situation investments. Since inception, it has invested in over 400 fund partnerships and companies. Today, GIC SI ranks as one of the largest private equity investors worldwide.

About CDC Group plc (CDC): CDC is a government-owned fund of funds with net assets of £2bn. It uses its own balance sheet to invest in private equity funds focused on the emerging markets of Asia, Africa and Latin America, with particular emphasis on South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. CDC’s mission is to generate wealth by providing capital for investment in sustainable and responsibly managed private sector businesses. It has committed capital to over 80 funds invested in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It currently has US$1.8bn committed to over 30 fund managers, 11 of which have a focus on India.