Oil and gas behemoth Royal Dutch Shell and telecommunication giant SoftBank are among several global groups and consortia considering a bid for Equis Energy; Asia's largest independent renewable energy producer, according to regional media reports.

The company which could be valued at up to $5bn (£3.8bn) is also being chased by global pension funds, private equity companies and Japanese trading outfits, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The newswire's source also suggested the first round of bids for Equis Energy - which owns a portfolio of 97 projects comprising solar, wind and hydro generation assets spread across countries including Japan, India, Philippines and Australia - are due this week.

The outfit is part of the Equis Funds Group set-up by former Macquarie Group executives among others, and has raised $2.7bn in equity from global investors for mainly renewable energy projects, over the past five years.

Other potential suitors include Japan's Orix Corp, which is teaming up with Dutch pension fund APG, and I Squared Capital; an infrastructure investor.

Equis and all of its aforementioned suitors declined comment on the Reuters report.