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.