UPDATE - Competition watchdog clears Engie acquisition of Solairedirect
Solar farm in France. Featured Image: Mny-Jhee/Shutterstock.com
French competition watchdog today gave the green light to the acquisition of solar company Solairedirect by local utility Engie (EPA:GSZ), formerly GDF Suez.
The regulator concluded that the EUR 200 million (USD 218.5m) transaction was not likely to affect competition in the sector of photovoltaic power plants since the combined market share of the two companies remains limited.
Engie announced on July 1st, it has acquired 95% stake in Solairedirect, which operates 224 MW of photovoltaic (PV) parks across France.
Through this transaction, Engie will expand its gross installed solar power capacity in France to 383 MW as it already operates 158.5 MW of ground-mounted PV facilities there. “We already lead the French wind power market, and this deal makes us the country’s number 1 in solar power too,” said Gerard Mestrallet, Engie’s chairman and CEO.
Solairedirect develops, builds and operates utility-scale solar farms at home and abroad. To date, it has developed 57 projects with a combined capacity of 486 MW and has set an objective to develop 125 MW more every year. The company’s international portfolio includes 4.5 GW of projects at the pre-construction phase in South Africa, India, Chile, the US, Mexico and Thailand. About 434 MW of the total are expected to be realised within the next six to 18 months.
In April, the target postponed its planned EUR-175-million (USD 191m) initial public offering (IPO) after failing to allocate the deal in full.
Engie has so far installed 19 GW of renewable energy plants worldwide, including 201 MW of solar farms. It also has an additional 27 GW under construction or development abroad.