ENGIE and Fenix have announced a transaction in which Engie will acquire 100% of Fenix International, an energy generation company offering Solar Home Systems (SHS) in Africa.

Founded back in 2009, Fenix employs 350 people and bases its operations in Uganda, where it is the leading SHS company with 140,000 customers.

Fenix recently expanded into Zambia and plans further expansion in other countries across Africa. Fenix will be the first SHS company to join a major worldwide energy company.

Bruno Bensasson, CEO of ENGIE Africa, said: “We believe that combining the strengths of ENGIE, a global energy player and Fenix, a successful company with very strong customer focus, high-quality products and an experienced team anchored in the heart of Sub-Saharan Africa, will enable faster deployment of SHS to the large African population still lacking access to electricity.

“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. We do believe that universal access is now reachable in a foreseeable future by the combination of national grids extension, local micro-grids and solar home systems, depending on the local characteristics of the energy demand.”

Fenix‘s flagship product, ReadyPay Power, offers lighting, phone charging and power for TVs and radios. The technology is offered on a lease-to-own system so that off-grid customers can finance their power system through micro instalments over mobile money. This investment will contribute to ENGIE’s goal of providing 20 million people around the world with access to decarbonized, decentralized energy by 2020,

Lyndsay Handler, CEO of Fenix International, added: “Fenix and ENGIE share the belief that universal access to energy is possible and paramount. To date, Fenix has delivered reliable solar power to over 900,000 people in East Africa. By joining forces with ENGIE – one of the world’s largest independent utility companies with a firm commitment to a decentralized, decarbonized and digital energy revolution – we will greatly accelerate the path to our vision.”

This week Uganda-based off-grid and home PV firm SolarNow also received a US$6 million syndicated off-grid solar financing facility.

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