Major solar installer leaves Australian market

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True Value Solar, a Melbourne-based rooftop solar installer, will close its doors for good, an insider close to the company’s plans has confirmed for pv magazine Australia.

“The reason behind exiting the market is a cut-throat competition among installers,“ the source said.

The highly competitive landscape is said to have driven the company’s revenues so low that the management was left with no other choice but to exit the market.

True Value Solar has been operating in Australia since 2009 as one of the leading residential and C&I installers in the country. According to company website, it has 132,900 installations across Australia under its belt.

The company is fully-owned by Stuttgart-based M+W Group, which has recently rebranded as a non-core business of Exyte, a German chip factory builder. M+W Group completed the acquisition of True Value Solar’s  shares in 2013 after holding a 65% stake since 2011.

Earlier this decade, True Value was acknowledged as an Australian market leader. While it still enjoyed this position, it entered into partnerships with sporting teams the Essendon Football Club and the Melbourne Renegades Big Bash team.

In 2012, CEO Suren Chandrajit somewhat unexpectedly resigned. Australian solar industry veteran Nigel Morris noted at the time that falling prices were resulting in squeezed margins, potentially causing problems for larger players such as True Value.

In 2013, the company’s co-founder Gavin Fernandez was added to the Australian Financial Review’s Young Rich List. The AFR noted that Fernandez had grown True Value from a garage operation in Melbourne’s suburbs, to a company with 240 staff and a $200 million annual turnover in only five years.

When M+W Group took its initial stake in True Value it valued it at a ‘north of $100 million’ company.

M+W Group, which comprises Exyte’s business activities mainly related to energy projects, generated sales of €0.4 billion ($639.428) in 2017 with about 1,100 employees. Earlier this month, Exyte shelved its IPO plans to float on the Frankfurt stock exchange after receiving muted feedback from investors, Reuteurs reported.