Enabling Axpo to enter international business, the transaction is part of the company’s strategy to pursue a profitable growth in international business. After developing wind energy business with the subsidiary Volkswind, the company aims to tap the photovoltaics market, by taking advantage of synergies in economically attractive photovoltaics market.

The transaction is subject to approval from regulatory authorities, which is expected in the coming weeks and months.

After the completion of the transaction, Urbasolar will be managed as an independent company and it will serve as a platform to expand solar business across Europe, Axpo stated.

Axpo CEO Andrew Walo said: “We are diversifying our renewable energies portfolio with Urbasolar. Photovoltaics is a growth business. In recent years, this area has experienced a global boom driven by decreasing system costs. Together with Urbasolar, we intend to consistently seize the resulting business opportunities and develop the solar business.”

The French solar company Urbasolar has a portfolio of 187MW in operational PV plants and has over 1GW in development pipeline. It also offers services across repair, maintenance and asset management.

Founded in 2006, Urbasolar has built 457 solar plants with a capacity of 350MW, including systems on office buildings, industrial rooftops or shopping centres along with open-space plants. Its customers include public administrations, industrial companies, logistic companies, retail chains and the real estate industry.

The firm has a workforce of 160 and operates from its headquarters in Montpellier and other offices in Toulouse, Aix-en-Provence, Nantes, Bordeaux, Vichy, Paris and Le Port (La Réunion).

Urbasolar CEO Stéphanie Andrieu and chairman Arnaud Mine said: “Axpo’s development strategy and values make it an ideal partner for Urbasolar in this new development phase. Our goal is to become a leading European player at the service of our customers, partners and local public authorities.”

In the coming years, Axpo plans to develop Urbasolar’s business model on an international scale and its activities will include development, construction, sales and operation of solar plants. Similar to its subsidiary Volkswind, Urbasolar will also be given independence at broad organisational level.