An Oakland-based provider of solar energy and a partner of Norwalk-based Crius Energy has filed for Chapter 11 protection, eliminated 350 jobs and arranged a sale of its assets to an investment group.
Sungevity formed a partnership with Crius subsidiary Viridian Energy in 2015 to offer co-branded residential solar electricity through Viridian’s 20,000-plus independent associates. The Norwalk company had previously used San Mateo, California-based SolarCity as its primary solar provider. SolarCity, acquired by Tesla last year for $2.6 billion, laid off 20 percent of its staff in 2016.
Last September, Crius acquired bankrupt California solar installer Verengo for $11.9 million; that deal is expected to be completed next month. Crius also acquired certain assets from SunEdison Inc. of Maryland Heights, Missouri – including its proprietary residential solar lead-generation platform – earlier last year.
With those acquisitions, “Crius shifted its focus exclusively to serving customers through our house brand, Crius Solar, and does not expect the Sungevity bankruptcy to have any material impact on our operations or customers,” said a Crius spokesperson.
The Sungevity asset purchase agreement is with a group of investors led by Northern Pacific Group, a Minnesota-based private equity firm. If approved by the bankruptcy court, Northern Pacific would obtain essentially all of the assets of Sungevity.
At the end of last year, Manhattan-based Easterly Acquisition dropped out of a proposed $357 million acquisition of Sungevity.