A European energy company that faced insolvency three years ago is now generating $500 million in annual revenue, thanks to an Aventura firm’s takeover.
Kawa Capital Management acquired Germany-based solar energy firm Conergy in 2013, aiming to build on the company’s strong brand, global footprint and 15-year track record, Kawa partner Andrew de Pass said.
Solar energy could provide a long-term steady cash flow, de Pass believed, as long as the firm sold off certain manufacturing units that were losing money. “We were able to eliminate over 250 million Euro in debt,” said de Pass, now Conergy CEO. “So we started fresh — no debt, no loss-making manufacturing operations.”
Kawa’s Aventura office already houses about 15 Conergy employees. That number will double in the next year, meaning Conergy will need to expand into a larger space in the next six months, de Pass said.
The 300-employee company will maintain its Hamburg, Germany headquarters, but is making its Aventura office a twin headquarters, de Pass said.
Conergy’s goal for 2015 is to solidify its strong presence in the United Kingdom, Japan and Southeast Asia, as well as expand into cost-competitive emerging markets such as Mexico, Chile and Turkey, de Pass said.
The company also plans to increase its market share in the U.S., although “it’s a very competitive and fragmented market,” de Pass added.
De Pass said he hopes Conergy’s Florida location will help the firm work with Florida Power & Light’s parent company, Juno Beach-based NextEra Energy, as it ramps up solar projects.
Now that Conergy has eliminated massive amounts of debt, the firm is prepared to compete against giants such as SunEdison, de Pass said. “What really makes us competitive against the big guys is we have a global footprint,” he said. “We have built over 300 [solar] projects in our 15-year track record. We have deep experience.”