ENGIE to acquire lease-to-own solar company Fenix International

ENGIE and Fenix International have agreed a transaction for ENGIE to acquire 100% of the latter, which specializes in selling small, off-grid rooftop systems to customers in East African nations, primarily in Uganda.

Financial terms of the transaction have not been revealed. According to ENGIE, Fenix has 350 employees, and more than 140,000 customers for its ReadyPay platform, which allows users to gradually build towards ownership of their rooftop system whilst paying for the power generated and building up a credit score.

“Fenix will be the agile growth engine for ENGIE’S SHS business in Africa and enable us to become a leading profitable off-grid energy services company on the continent, reaching millions of customers by 2020, stated Bruno Bensasson, CEO of ENGIE Africa. “We do believe that universal access is now reachable in a foreseeable future by the combination of national grid extensions, local microgrids and solar home systems.”

Across the African Continent, more than 600 million still lack access to electricity. However, new technologies and business models such as the one operated by Fenix make rooftop solar a viable option for many.

“To date, Fenix has delivered solar power to over 900,000 people in East Africa. By joining forces with ENGIE we will greatly accelerate the path to our vision,” said Lyndsay Handler, Fenix International CEO. “We will continue to relentlessly pursue an exceptional customer experience in all we do, and together we will make universal access to modern energy a reality.”

The acquisition transaction now awaits approval from the relevant regulatory bodies.

One of the world’s largest energy companies traditionally active in the nuclear and natural gas sectors, ENGIE now has a stated aim to become the ‘leader of this new energy world’, and has made some big moves into the renewables sector in recent years. This takeover of Fenix International is the latest in a series of solar acquistions including The European business of bankrupt U.S. rooftop PV company Sungevity and a stake in Chinese PV developer Unisun.

Reports from earlier this year also stated that ENGIE is looking to acquire German renewable energy company Innogy, though no deal has yet been announced.