Image: DZ-4

EnBW acquires major­i­ty stake in solar pio­neer DZ‑4

With the sign­ing of the con­tract on 11 June, EnBW takes over the major­i­ty shares in DZ‑4, the Ham­burg-based spe­cial­ist for the leas­ing of own­er-occu­pied solar plants, in the course of a fur­ther financ­ing round. EnBW is thus strength­en­ing its new busi­ness in the growth mar­ket of pho­to­volta­ic sys­tems and storage.

The major­i­ty takeover will take place via a cap­i­tal increase and will be imple­ment­ed by EnBW Inno­va­tion. After the trans­ac­tion, DZ‑4 will remain a brand and an inde­pen­dent com­pa­ny, with an unchanged focus on sus­tain­able growth. The employ­ees and the man­age­ment remain on board. The major­i­ty takeover is still sub­ject to approval by the antitrust authorities.

DZ‑4 has intro­duced the rental of solar pan­els and bat­tery stor­age for home­own­ers in the Ger­man mar­ket. With its PV lease mod­el “Solar-as-a-Ser­vice”, the com­pa­ny, found­ed in 2012, has estab­lished itself as the mar­ket leader. What is spe­cial about the mod­el is that cus­tomers do not have to buy solar sys­tems, but rent them in an all-round care­free pack­age with­out hav­ing to finance them them­selves. DZ‑4 also takes care of all oper­a­tional activities.

The high lev­el of cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion with DZ‑4 is reflect­ed in the fig­ures: in 2020, the com­pa­ny reached the mile­stone of 100 mil­lion euros in rev­enue from con­tracts con­clud­ed. “The Ger­man B2C solar mar­ket is devel­op­ing rapid­ly. With EnBW, we have a strong financ­ing and sales part­ner at our side to serve the high demand, to active­ly shape the mar­ket devel­op­ment and to con­tin­ue to grow togeth­er. We are very hap­py and proud about this”, says Tobias Schütt, CEO of DZ‑4.

Bundling com­pe­tences, using synergies

DZ‑4 and EnBW ben­e­fit from mutu­al exper­tise and syn­er­gy effects in the leas­ing of solar plants: The DZ‑4 team brings the know-how for the con­struc­tion, oper­a­tion and financ­ing of the PV plants and has already been active as a white label part­ner for the EnBW sub­sidiary Yel­lo Solar GmbH, which also spe­cialis­es in solar leas­ing, since 2017. DZ‑4 also coop­er­ates on solar stor­age sys­tems with EnBW sub­sidiary SENEC GmbH, which was acquired in 2018. Con­verse­ly, EnBW pro­vides the finan­cial cap­i­tal for the fur­ther devel­op­ment of the busi­ness mod­el and offers access to six mil­lion end cus­tomers through its brand and net­work. “Togeth­er, we are get­ting clos­er to our goal of mak­ing as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble inde­pen­dent. With us, they can sup­ply them­selves with their own elec­tric­i­ty from clean solar ener­gy any­time and any­where,” says Aurélie Ale­many, CEO of SENEC.

Poten­tial recog­nised early

As ear­ly as 2015, EnBW New Ven­tures, the ven­ture cap­i­tal com­pa­ny of EnBW, par­tic­i­pat­ed in sev­er­al financ­ing rounds of DZ‑4 and has suc­ces­sive­ly increased its par­tic­i­pa­tion in recent years. “The break­through of elec­tro­mo­bil­i­ty in Ger­many is giv­ing a fur­ther boost to rooftop solar. With its excel­lent mar­ket posi­tion and excep­tion­al­ly high cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion, the DZ‑4 team has con­vinced us time and again,” empha­sizes Crispin Leick, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor EnBW New Ventures.

The major­i­ty share­hold­ing in DZ‑4 now achieved is an impor­tant step for EnBW to fur­ther strength­en its posi­tion­ing in the Ger­man pho­to­volta­ic and stor­age mar­ket and to offer cus­tomers holis­tic ener­gy man­age­ment solu­tions. The aim is to enable a sus­tain­able ener­gy sup­ply for all and thus dri­ve for­ward the ener­gy transition.