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Global utility company Engie has concluded its purchase of off-grid energy company Fenix International. The Fenix operations will remain unchanged, with the company being the first Solar Home System (SHS) organisation to join a major worldwide energy company.

Engine buys Fenix InternationalThis partnership will accelerate and expand Fenix’s ability to scale off-grid energy and financial services. Fenix will gain access to Engie’s supply chain, expertise, long-term capital investments and talent across the energy value chain, the company said in a statement.

“Closing this acquisition gives us the go-ahead to accelerate access to energy through Fenix’s strong solar home system model. Until now, availability of capital has been a major hurdle in the solar home system business, a constraint that we are now helping to remove. We believe this is a major step along the path to universal energy access. The dramatically falling price of solar panels and batteries, combined with the inclusive “pay-as-you-go” financing platform created by Fenix, make solar home systems a key part of the energy mix for Africa’s future in combination with grid extension and micro-grids,” says Bruno Bensasson, CEO of Engie Africa.

“It’s unacceptable that over 600 million people across Africa lack access to energy. By joining forces with Engie, we aim to bring affordable energy and other life-changing products to millions of people living off-grid. Realizing this ambitious vision will require significant commercial investment and innovation in product, last-mile distribution, inclusive financing and customer experience. With this agreement, Engie will provide the support, expertise and opportunities the Fenix team needs to innovate in these areas and rapidly scale the business,” adds Lyndsay Handler, CEO of Fenix International.

Fenix’s flagship product, ReadyPay Power, is an affordable solar home system. Customers pay as little as $0.19 per day to access power for lighting, phone charging, and products such as TVs and radios. After 24-36 months of payments, customers own the solar home system outright. Based on the credit score customers establish while paying off their power systems, they are able to purchase upgrades to their energy system, energy-efficient appliances, or other financial products.

“It is a privilege to be a part of a bold global energy company with over 50 years’ experience with energy in Africa.  Over 100 years ago, Ford set out on a mission to make cars affordable in America. MTN have made telecommunications and Mobile Money affordable to all across Africa, and today Tesla is working to make rockets and electric cars affordable. Together, Fenix and ENGIE want to make modern energy radically affordable to all,” Handler says.

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