ENGIE invests in Conti family


Around 15-20 years ago, the world was just beginning to embrace the largest and quickest technological revolution that it had ever witnessed. It was a moment that will never be seen again, just prior to the internet’s infestation into ever angle of life. It was a time before iPhones, before Blackberries even, when the King of the Hill in the mobile phone industry was the Nokia 3310.

But what does any of this have to do with the announcement out of Houston this morning, that ENGIE North America came to an agreement with Conti Corporation that Conti will sell to ENGIE its business, as well as its affiliates, Indicon Corporation, Ion Electric and McGilvray Mechanical? Well let’s think back to that mechanical marvel, the Nokia 3310.

The Nokia 3310 was heralded for two of its features: its well documented near-indestructibility and the greatest mobile game ever to grace this earth, Snake. For anyone deprived of the joy of playing Snake in the early 2000’s, it’s a relatively simple game. You play as a pixelated “snake” and operate within a set area, eating pixels. With each pixel you eat the snake grows and speeds up and the object of the game is to eat as many pixels as you can before you accidentally eat yourself.

In the dynamic and always-evolving solar industry, ENGIE appears to have modeled itself after Nokia’s snake of yesteryear, with Conti and its affiliates playing the role of the pixels. However, instead of growing purely for survival, this move represents an expansion of expertise for ENGIE, allowing the company to grow through expansion into different arms of the industry.

This is a sentiment shared by Executive Vice President of supervising UK, Latin America, and North America Business Units for ENGIE, Franck Bruel, who said of the transactions:

We are excited to welcome the more than 2,000 new colleagues from the Conti teams to ENGIE as they will be a great addition to our portfolio of businesses and skillsets. Together, we will be able to enlarge the range of services we offer and to both broaden and deepen our geographic reach in North America. Equally, we look forward to welcoming the customers of Conti, Ion, McGilvray, and Indicon to our group of valued clients in North America with whom we have more than 55,000 projects, expanding our shared potential to implement leading-edge, comprehensive solutions that will lead the zero-carbon transition in the energy industry.

And this may just be where the Snake comparison falls apart a bit. With this move, ENGIE is not just simply growing. This is a move seemingly of market prediction and recognition that a company varied and non-centralized in expertise will be the healthiest way to succeed and improve in the future.

The deal is not yet official as, among other closing conditions, it must receive approval from the Federal Trade Commission. However that approval is expected and the companies anticipate the deal to be finalized before the end of the month. Financial details of the agreement have not yet been disclosed.

Edit: This article was amended on 7/1 and 2:33 PM. the original version of this article linked Conti Corporation to the company formerly known as Conti Solar, now CS Energy. This mistake extended to misreporting Conti Energy’s portfolio as CS Energy’s 650 MW portfolio. We are deeply sorry for the error and apologize for it happening in the first place.

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