The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Blackstone to Buy Vivint for $2B and Support Its Expansion in Solar and Beyond

Home automation giant Vivint hasn't worked the solar market for long, but it already found a big investor who promises to expand the Utah company's reach into renewable energy and beyond. Blackstone announced Wednesday it will buy Vivint for over $2 billion.

When the deal closes, which should come before the end of the year, it will give Blackstone control over 50 percent of the company, reported the New York Times. The rest of the company is owned by the management, according to Reuters.

Vivint built its reputation as one of the country’s largest residential security service provider in the country. It then added the sales of equipment and services for homeowners to automate and control their thermostats, lighting and small appliances remotely. The company entered the solar business last year and in October announced a $75 million fund from U.S. Bankcorp to finance residential solar installations and sell leases to homeowners. Instead of paying for the equipment and labor of installing a solar energy system upfront, Vivint’s customers pay a monthly fee over 20 years. This financing model has become popular not only because it removes the high upfront cost, but it also is supposed to lead to lower monthly utility bills.

Founded in 1999 as Apax Alarm Security Solutions, the company changed its name to Vivint last year to reflect its ambition to move beyond the home security market, Vivint’s co-founder and CEO, Todd Pedersen, told me last year. The company’s name is a mesh of “Vive,” or “to live,” and “intelligent.”

Pedersen said back then that Vivint became a big home automation company because it figured out how to market and install equipment efficiently. He believed the same strategy will work just as well in the solar business. He was so confident that he predicted Vivint would become the largest residential solar company in the U.S. this year.

Having Blackstone as an investor should help Pedersen realize his vision. Blackstone apparently outbid two other private equity groups to win the deal to buy the majority stake in Vivint. Vivint is counting on a significant financial support from Blackstone that will enable the company to develop “innovative new technologies, products and services designed to expand the company’s influence beyond the home environment into the automobile, the workplace, areas of recreation and other core spheres of human activity.” This may indicate that Vivint is eyeing other energy management services, including perhaps electric car charging, which could be centralized and remotely controlled by Vivint and its customers.

Blackstone’s interest in Vivint reflects this investor sentiment that the retail service segment of the solar market is so much more attractive than the manufacturing sector, which has seen many factory closures and bankruptcies.  The market has experienced an oversupply of solar panels since the start of 2011, and that has benefited installers and their investors as well as consumers. Prices for solar panel systems owned by investors rather than consumers have dropped in California, for example, though that decline doesn’t necessarily mean homeowners also are paying lower monthly fees on their leases. 

Untitled Document

Get All the Renewable Energy World News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to Renewable Energy World or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now

RELATED ARTICLES

Solar PV

OneEnergy Seeks Authority to Build 6 MW Solar PV Facility in Southern Maryland

Jennifer Delony OneEnergy Renewables is seeking regulatory approval in Maryland to build a 6 MW solar PV facility in Somerset County,...
Solar water heating

California Regulators Propose Expansion of Eligibility Requirements for Solar Water Heating Program

Jennifer Delony The California Public Utilities Commission has proposed expanding the eligibility requirements for customers seeking ...
Solar

Florida Supreme Court Takes Up Solar Question

Wayne Barber Because Florida remains one of only four states where current laws expressly deny citizens and businesses the freedom...
solar net metering

Lithuanian Net Metering Hits Snag from Outset

Linas Jegelevicius The much anticipated net metering in Lithuania has hit a major snag from the very start – the introduced network oper...

PRESS RELEASES

Canadian Solar Wins Five Solar Power Projects Totaling 185 MW in Brazil

These power projects were won under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the B...

$100 Off of 5-day Advanced PV Project Experience. Download a Topic Schedule.

Assemble, ground, energize, and commission a complete grid-tied SolarEdge system from s...

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd talks politics of fear vs. politics of hope

Rudd, who led the Australian parliament from 2007 to 2010, told the Summit audience tha...

Intersolar AWARD „Solar Projects in India“ – Applications being accepted until September 18

The Intersolar AWARD in the category Solar Projects in India honors projects in the fie...

FEATURED BLOGS

Washington, DC Bridges the Solar Gap

The District of Columbia has enjoyed 15 years of strong economic growth. But prosperity is spread unevenly across the...

Sell Through Hypothesis

You first learned to hypothesize, or make educated guesses, in grade school science class. Now it’s time to ref...

Cronimet / THEnergy study: In solar for mines size does not always matter - Reducing CAPEX with energy efficiency and load shifting

Munich, September 2015. Mining companies are constantly gaining interest in solar solutions because frequently solar ...

Final Program Now Available for GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo

GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo - Final Program from

FINANCIAL NEWS

Ucilia Wang is a California-based freelance journalist who writes about renewable energy. She previously was the associate editor at Greentech Media and a staff writer covering the semiconductor industry at Red Herring. In addition to Renewable En...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Successfully Integrating Solar: A Proactive Approach

•      What does the increasing solar penetrati...

Presenting at PV Insider O&M Conference

Charles Pimentel, COO of Solar Frontier Americas will be presenting on t...

Solar Frontier Offsite Office at Solar Power International (2 mins....

Solar Frontier will be hosting an offsite meeting room offering our gues...

COMPANY BLOGS

Sell Through Hypothesis

You first learned to hypothesize, or make educated guesses, in grade sch...

Vacancy? No Problem!

Have you ever tried to sell an efficiency product or service to a prospe...

Going The Extra Mile

Selling efficiency takes perseverance, creativity, and a willingness to ...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS