A Chinese-based solar PV project developer, Solar Power Inc. has agreed to pay $25.5 million in stock for an 80 per cent stake in Solar Juice, which was the biggest solar wholesale distribution business in Australia in the last two years.
The purchase agreement will deliver a potential windfall to Solar Juice pair Andrew Burgess and Rami Fedda – who co-founded the business five years ago at the start of the solar boom in Australia. They each held a 35 per cent stake in the company, and will retain 7 per cent each.
It is believed to be the biggest transaction of its type in Australia, which boasts some 4.1GW of solar PV – the highest penetration of rooftop solar in the world. Still, it’s been a boom-bust market, with many solar businesses going to the wall.
Last year, US solar giant SunEdison bought 100 per cent of Energy Matters, a residential and distributed generation solar company for a total of $18.4 million, consisting of $3.1 million in cash and “contingent consideration” valued at
“We have spent over 5 years building Solar Juice into the leading PV wholesale distribution business in Australia,” Burgess said in a statement.
“Given the huge potential we see in the Australia PV market in the coming years, we felt the timing was right for Solar Juice to seek additional resources to capture this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Fedda said the two companies had already identified a number of areas where the combination of the two organizations can leverage more opportunities than as standalone businesses.”
Xiaofeng Peng, the chairman of SPI described the Australian market – which has a rapidly growing commercial sector and a nascent large scale sector as “very promising”.
“We have been evaluating for some time the best entry point into the very promising Australia market, and we are confident this transaction gives SPI the strongest local platform to address this tremendous market opportunity,” he said in a statement.