Sunrun to buy residential solar company Vivint Solar

Sunrun has agreed to acquire Vivint Solar for an enterprise value of $3.2 billion.

Sunrun has agreed to acquire Vivint Solar for an enterprise value of $3.2 billion. Vivint Solar is a residential solar provider. Vivint Solar’s backers include Blackstone.

PRESS RELEASE

SAN FRANCISCO, July 06, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sunrun (NASDAQ: RUN), a leading provider of residential solar, battery storage and energy services, and Vivint Solar (NYSE: VSLR), a leading full-service residential solar provider in the United States, today announced the companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which Sunrun will acquire Vivint Solar in an all-stock transaction, pursuant to which each share of Vivint Solar common stock will be exchanged for 0.55 shares of Sunrun common stock, representing a combined Enterprise Value of $9.2 billion based on the closing price of Sunrun’s shares on July 6, 2020. Vivint Solar stockholders are expected to own approximately 36% and Sunrun stockholders are expected to own approximately 64% of the fully diluted shares of the combined company.

The exchange ratio implies a 10% premium for Vivint Solar shares based on closing prices on July 6, 2020, and a 15% premium to the exchange ratio implied by the three month volume weighted average price of Vivint Solar and Sunrun shares.

“Americans want clean and resilient energy. Vivint Solar adds an important and high-quality sales channel that enables our combined company to reach more households and raise awareness about the benefits of home solar and batteries,” said Lynn Jurich, Sunrun’s Chief Executive Officer and co-founder. “This transaction will increase our scale and grow our energy services network to help replace centralized, polluting power plants and accelerate the transition to a 100% clean energy future. We admire Vivint Solar and its employees, and look forward to working together as we integrate the two companies.”

David Bywater, Chief Executive Officer of Vivint Solar, added, “Vivint Solar and Sunrun have long shared a common goal of bringing clean, affordable, resilient energy to homeowners. Joining forces with Sunrun will allow us to reach a broader set of customers and accelerate the pace of clean energy adoption and grid modernization. We believe this transaction will create value for our customers, our shareholders, and our partners.”

A Shared Mission to Create a Planet Run by the Sun
Sunrun and Vivint Solar share a mission to create a planet run by the sun. Together, we can empower more families to take control of their energy future by increasing customer choice in how they create and consume power.

There is an urgent need to decarbonize our energy system. Extreme weather due to climate change is increasing, putting immense strain on our energy system. Fossil fuel power plants are responsible for more than 30% of all carbon pollution across the country. Sunrun will be a meaningful contributor to a fully renewable and electrified energy system. Our growing fleet of solar homes and batteries will be networked to provide greater benefits to the grid and energy consumers. Generating energy at the point it is used reduces the need for dirty energy being produced far away that is increasingly expensive to transmit. Our customers have already and will continue to help shut down inefficient carbon-producing power plants.

Our combined customer base of nearly 500,000 creates a leading owner of solar assets globally, with over 3 gigawatts of solar assets on the balance sheet. Yet, residential solar has reached only 3% penetration in the United States today and the runway for growth remains massive.

Sunrun has committed to leading the solar industry in diversity and inclusion efforts, career development, and employee benefits. As part of a broader, more diversified company, we will be able to offer employees even more opportunities and solidify our position as the best place to work in the solar industry.

Strategic Rationale
This is a transformational opportunity to generate consumer and shareholder value, realize annual cost synergies and bring cleaner, affordable energy to more homes. It establishes Sunrun as a leading home solar and energy services company across the United States, bringing greater opportunities for consumers to save money on their electric bills and decrease dependence on fossil fuels.

Residential solar has reached only 3% penetration in the United States today and yet surveys show nearly 9 out of 10 people in the United States favor expanding the use of solar power. The acquisition of Vivint Solar adds a complementary direct-to-home sales channel to Sunrun’s platform, increasing our reach and capabilities in a growing market. Our thirteen years of experience has shown that a consultative experience from trusted sales advisors is important to educate customers of the merits of solar energy. Vivint Solar’s highly trained, consultative field sales experts will be an important part of the combined platform and will serve as critical ambassadors for consumers to learn the benefits of solar energy.

Like Sunrun, Vivint Solar has adapted to the current environment, accelerating digital lead generation efforts and providing a contact-less selling and installation experience in most instances. This transition has resulted in improvements for both companies, including setting the foundation for structural cost reductions and improved customer experience.

We expect to deliver meaningful cost synergies, estimated at $90 million on an annual basis. We see opportunities across the entire cost base, including consolidating and optimizing our branch footprint, reducing redundant spending on technology systems, scaling our proprietary racking technology, as well as improving sourcing capabilities within our supply chains. There are also opportunities to realize scale benefits from shared corporate functions including accounting, human resources, legal, and policy.

We expect additional revenue synergies to generate enhanced value creation for our customers and shareholders from a larger base of solar assets. We expect to be able to offer batteries to the combined base of solar customers. A larger footprint of solar and battery assets also increases the value of what we bring to our grid services partnerships and strengthens our ability to deliver considerable value in that business. We expect to benefit from efficiencies in large scale project finance capital raising activities and are excited about the opportunity to build an even stronger and more recognizable consumer brand in residential energy services.

Benefits for Customers
Most energy consumers are currently beholden to a single power company that provides electricity to them based on their household location. As a benefit of this combination, Sunrun’s increased scale, operating efficiency and combined research and development (R&D) efforts will enable the company to even further accelerate the adoption of renewable energy and give households more control over their energy future.

A lower cost structure from greater scale can open more markets and allow lower pricing for customers, accelerating the transition away from polluting fossil fuels. It will also give our customers access to better, more affordable products and services. Lastly, combining R&D resources and focusing efforts will allow us to accelerate the offering of advanced solutions, such as virtual power plants and other energy services programs, to more customers in more markets.

Transaction Details
Under the terms of the definitive transaction agreement, each share of Vivint Solar common stock issued and outstanding immediately prior to the effective time of the merger will be converted automatically into the right to receive 0.55 shares of Sunrun common stock.

The Board of Directors of Sunrun and Vivint Solar have each unanimously voted in favor of the definitive transaction agreement.

The acquisition of Vivint Solar is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2020, subject to approval by Vivint Solar and Sunrun stockholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Sunrun’s Board of Directors will be expanded by adding 2 directors, one of which is expected to be Vivint Solar’s CEO, David Bywater.

Support Agreements have been obtained from both companies’ largest stockholders, 313 Acquisition LLC (Blackstone affiliate) and Tiger Global, to vote their respective shares in favor of the merger and the share issuance, respectively.

In addition, 313 Acquisition LLC (Blackstone affiliate) has agreed to lock up 50% of shares obtained as a result of the acquisition for 60 days following closing and the remaining 50% for 120 days. Sales are allowed to occur during these periods subject to certain conditions.

Advisors
Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC is serving as the exclusive financial advisor to Sunrun and Cooley LLP and Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP are serving as legal counsel. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC is serving as the lead financial advisor to Vivint Solar, BofA Securities, Inc. is serving as a financial advisor to Vivint Solar and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati are serving as legal counsel.

Management Conference Call Information
Sunrun and Vivint Solar are hosting a joint conference call for analysts, investors and media to discuss the definitive transaction agreement at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. A live audio webcast of the conference call along with supplemental information will be accessible on the “Investor Relations” section of Sunrun’s website at https://investors.sunrun.com in addition to Vivint Solar’s website at http://investors.vivintsolar.com.

The conference call can also be accessed live over the phone by dialing 877-485-3106 (toll-free) or 201-689-8575 (international). An audio replay will be available following the call on the Sunrun Investor Relations website for approximately one month.

About Sunrun
Sunrun Inc. (Nasdaq: RUN) is the nation’s leading home solar, battery storage, and energy services company. Founded in 2007, Sunrun pioneered home solar service plans to make local clean energy more accessible to everyone for little to no upfront cost. Sunrun’s innovative home battery solution, Brightbox, brings families affordable, resilient, and reliable energy. The company can also manage and share stored solar energy from the batteries to provide benefits to households, utilities, and the electric grid while reducing our reliance on polluting energy sources. For more information, please visit www.sunrun.com.

About Vivint Solar
Vivint Solar, Inc. (NYSE: VSLR) is a leading full-service residential solar provider in the United States. With the help of Vivint Solar, homeowners can power their homes with clean, renewable energy, typically achieving significant financial savings over time. Vivint Solar designs and installs solar energy systems for homeowners and offers monitoring and maintenance services. In addition to being able to purchase a solar energy system outright, homeowners may benefit from Vivint Solar’s affordable, flexible financing options, including power purchase agreements, or lease agreements, where available. Vivint Solar also offers solar plus storage systems with LG Chem home batteries and electric vehicle chargers with ChargePoint Home. For more information, visit www.vivintsolar.com or follow @VivintSolar on Twitter.