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Engie chief says further acquisitions on the way

Isabelle Kocher, chief executive of Engie, says the company is in a strong position in its restructuring process and plans to make new acquisitions to continue its growth.

Kocher, who is driving Engie’s 2016-2018 turnaround strategy that includes $17.72bn worth of asset sales and EUR22bn of investments, said any future deals would nevertheless not be on a major scale.

Kocher said Engie had completed 75 percent of its planned assets sales, and that in 18 months it had carried out targeted acquisitions worth about EUR1.3bn, which are all adapted to its turnaround strategy.

She said the group was looking for partners for its Belgian power subsidiary Electrabel.

“We will probably be able to do more, because we are ahead of all check points in our transformation plan, so it gives us latitude. Engie does not say ‘no’ to acquisitions”, she said.

Meanwhile the French power group announced the acquisition of Fenix International, a next generation energy company, offering Solar Home Systems (SHS) in Africa. Founded in 2009, Fenix employs over 350 people and has its main activities in Uganda where it is the leading SHS player with more than 140,000 customers. Fenix recently expanded into Zambia and plans further roll-outs 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.”