Engie to Acquire Solar-Power Firm Fenix
On October 19, 2017, French utility provider Engie announced that it will acquire U.S. energy-technology company Fenix International, a start-up that offers solar-power home systems (SHS) in Africa for those with no access to the electricity grid. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is representing Fenix International in the transaction.
According to a press release, Fenix will be the first SHS company to join a major worldwide energy company that puts the fight against climate change and energy access at the very center of its purpose. The proposed transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
More than 600 million people lack access to modern energy in Africa. Fenix's flagship product, ReadyPay Power, offers a cheaper and cleaner alternative to the kerosene lamps, candles, and wood fires used by millions of people living in fuel poverty on the continent. ReadyPay Power provides lighting, phone charging, and power for TVs and radios. According to Fenix, the technology is offered on a lease-to-own basis so that off-grid customers can finance their power system through micro instalments over mobile money. Fenix uses the financing of the solar home system to build a credit score for each customer which can then be used to power and finance other life-changing products and services.
The World Bank has estimated that up to 99 million households, more than a third of those that are off-grid, will rely on home solar by 2020, with the market growing fastest in Africa.
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati continues to be at the center of global energy and infrastructure transformation. The WSGR team advising Fenix in the transaction was led by partner Bob O'Connor and includes the following attorneys:
Robert O'Connor, Partner
Carlos Ellerbe, Counsel
Gregory Miller, Of Counsel
Jennifer Sayles Okorn, Associate
David Brekke, Associate
Aaron Wax, Associate
Employee Benefits and Compensation
Brandon Gantus, Associate
Mark Cornillez-Ty, Associate
Gregory Broome, Partner
Devin Heckman, Associate
Jennifer McGrew, Associate
Ryan Greecher, Of Counsel
For more information, please see Engie's press release.