Hurting Canada’s reputation – Castanet.net

The Canadian Press – Nov 25, 2016 / 5:57 am | Story: 181916

Photo: The Canadian Press

Canada’s pipeline gridlock is harming its global reputation as an attractive place to invest in oil and gas projects, says a leading industry group.
Tim McMillan,…

Wal-Mart’s profit falls but beats estimates; revenue misses

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reported its third-quarter profit fell 8.2 per cent, dragged down by investments in e-commerce and its stores. Its earnings still beat Wall Street estimates. But its revenue fell short of expectations.

Shares fell nearly 3 per cent in premarket trading.

Wal-Mart is reinventing itself to be more nimble as it fights off competition from online leader Amazon.com and other rivals.

Wal-Mart has been launching a number of changes online and in the store, from making sure its vegetables are fresh to being sharper on prices. It’s melding online services with the stores, and it’s pressing ahead with online grocery and pick-up services.

The company told investors in October that it was planning to slow its new store openings and pour money into its online efforts, technology and store remodels.

In September, it completed its deal to buy fast-growing Jet.com for $3 billion in cash plus $300 million in stock in an acquisition aimed at helping the retailer attract younger and more affluent customers to drive online sales.

“We are pleased that we can see real progress stemming from our strategic choices,” said Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores in a statement But he added, “We will continue to change and pick up speed to reach our longer-term aspirations.”

For the holiday shopping season, Wal-Mart is hammering its low-price message while aiming to improve service in the stores. It’s deploying holiday helpers near the checkout lines at its stores. They’ll be helping customers find the shortest line and will run to the shelves to grab products if customers forgot an item. The company is also stepping up its efforts to cater to online shoppers. It’s increasing the number of products for online orders by 50 per cent for the holiday kickoff compared to a year ago.

Still, the company has plenty of challenges.

The retailer says it earned $3.03 billion, or 98 cents per share, for the three-month period ended Oct. 31. That compares with $3.3 billion, or $1.03 per share in the year-ago period.

Analysts expected 96 cents per share, according to analysts at FactSet.

But revenue rose just 0.7 per cent to $118.18 billion. Analysts expected $118.6 billion.

Revenue at stores opened at least a year rose 1.2 per cent, shy of analysts’ estimates and slower than the 1.6 per cent pace from the prior quarter. Traffic was up just 0.7 per cent, slower than the prior quarter. Still, it marked the ninth straight quarter of gains for a key sales measure and the eighth quarterly gain for traffic.

More notably, e-commerce sales accelerated to 20.6 per cent, from 11.8 per cent in the prior quarter.

The company said that it’s increasing its bottom end of its full-year profit forecast to a new range of $4.20 per share to $4.35 per share It expects that revenue at stores opened at least a year to rise 1 per cent to 1.5 per cent in the fourth quarter.

Shares are down $2.06, or 2.9 per cent, to $69.33 per share in premarket trading.

The Latest: De Kooning painting fetches record $66.3M in NYC

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The Latest on Christie’s sale of contemporary (all times local):

7:45 p.m.

A large painting from one of Willem de Kooning’s most productive periods sold for $66.3 million at Christie’s auction of contemporary art in New York City.

Tuesday evening’s sale of “Untitled XXV” set a new auction record for a work by the abstract expressionist artist.

When the painting was auctioned in 2006, it sold for $27.1 million, setting a record for any work of post-war and contemporary art at the time.

Another major work at the auction was a painting by the German artist Gerhard Richter now owned by British singer-songwriter Eric Clapton. Christie’s says “Abstract Painting” fetched just over $20 million.

___

2 p.m.

A large painting from one of Willem de Kooning’s most productive periods could be sold for as much as $40 million at Christie’s auction of contemporary art.

Christie’s predicts that “Untitled XXV” will set a new auction record for a work by the abstract expressionist artist at its sale Tuesday evening in New York.

When the painting was auctioned in 2006, it sold for $27.1 million, setting a record for any work of post-war and contemporary art at the time.

Another major work at Tuesday’s auction is a painting by the German artist Gerhard Richter now owned by rock star Eric Clapton.

Christie’s thinks “Abstract Painting” will sell for around $20 million.

After complaints, Trump-branded buildings being renamed

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Donald Trump’s name is being stripped off three luxury apartment buildings after hundreds of tenants signed a petition saying they were embarrassed to live in a place associated with the Republican president-elect.

In all, about 600 residents of the three rental towers in Trump Place signed the online petition, which began circulating weeks ago after the public release of a decade-old recording of Trump boasting about groping women and kissing them without their consent.

Tenants learned on Tuesday from the company that owns and manages the New York skyscrapers, which hold 1,325 rental apartments, that the huge gold letters spelling out “Trump Place” would be removed from the sides of the buildings within days.

“We’re all very excited and thrilled, and it’s about time,” said Marjorie Jacobs, who has lived in one of the buildings for five years. “We’re disgusted with the results of the presidency.”

A spokeswoman for Trump’s transition team, Hope Hicks, didn’t immediately return a request for comment on Tuesday. She told The New York Times in October that removing the Trump name would cause a building to “lose tremendous value.”

A spokesman for Equity Residential, the Chicago-based company that owns and manages the buildings, said its executives considered “the input of our residents” among other factors when making the decision to change the buildings’ names. Spokesman Marty McKenna said in an email that a “neutral building identity” might hold more appeal to current and future residents.

The letters spelling out Trump’s name could come down as soon as Wednesday, residents said. They will be replaced with the buildings’ addresses.

Several neighbouring towers that also bear the Trump Place name but have different owners are sticking with the Trump brand.

In the early 1990s, Trump partnered with Chinese investors to develop a large area of land near Lincoln Center and the Hudson River on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. When Trump’s partners decided to sell the development in 2005 for $1.76 billion, he sued, arguing the price was too low.

Trump lost that litigation and remained a minority partner. His Trump Organization still manages some buildings in the development.

Brian Dumont, a wealth manager who has lived in his Trump Place apartment for four years, said the petition drive gained momentum after neighbours became increasingly embarrassed explaining to fellow New Yorkers that they lived in Trump buildings.

“You know how it is in New York, everyone asks you where you live,” he said. “And we found ourselves just recoiling.”

Voters in Manhattan resoundingly rejected Trump on Election Day. His main rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, pulled in more than a half-million votes, compared with fewer than 60,000 for him.

Trump, asked whether his comments on the campaign trail had hurt his brand, said in an interview on Sunday, “Who cares?”

“This is big-league stuff,” he said on CBS’s “60 Minutes.” ”I don’t care about hotel occupancy. It’s peanuts compared to what we’re doing. Health care, making people better.”

Study: Corruption seen as a great challenge in Europe, Asia

BERLIN – One in three people in Europe and Central Asia see corruption as one of the greatest challenges for their countries, but a similar number fear retaliation of they speak out against it, according to a study released Wednesday by an international corruption watchdog.

Transparency International said that within the European Union, Spaniards were the most likely to see corruption as one of the biggest problems, with 66 per cent saying it was. Least likely were Germans, with 2 per cent. Other countries seen by their citizens as having the biggest corruption problems were Moldova, Kosovo, Slovenia and Ukraine.

Moldovans and Ukrainians also topped the list of those believing their politicians are corrupt, with 76 and 64 per cent respectively. In addition, 86 per cent of Ukrainians rated their government as being bad at fighting corruption, followed by 84 per cent of Moldovans.

The Berlin-based Transparency International spoke to 60,000 people in 42 countries in Europe and Central Asia for the survey.

Overall, 30 per cent of respondents said corruption goes unreported because people fear the consequences, 14 per cent said because it was too difficult to prove, and 12 per cent said it wasn’t reported because they believe nothing will be done.

The study found only one in five bribe-payers reported the incident, and two in five who do report suffer some form of retaliation.

Transparency said one reason that more Europeans are starting to support populist and nationalist movements could be that they believe traditional democratic institutions are “failing to deliver on promises of prosperity and equal opportunity, and that they cannot be trusted.”

“Governments are simply not doing enough to tackle corruption because individuals at the top are benefiting,” said Transparency head Jose Ugaz. “To end this deeply troubling relationship between wealth, power and corruption, governments must require higher levels of transparency.”

In other results, the study found one in six households paid a bribe in the past year for access to public services. Worst were the countries of the former Soviet Union, where some 30 per cent of public service users paid a bribe in the past year.

That list was led by Tajikistan, where 50 per cent reported paying a bribe, followed by Moldova at 42 per cent, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and the Kyrgyz Republic at 38 per cent, and Russia at 34 per cent.

Bribery in the European Union was highest in Romania, with 29 per cent of Romanians reporting paying bribes, followed by 24 per cent of Lithuanians and 22 per cent of Hungarians.

Gulf states get $370M in oil spill funds to restore wetlands

NEW ORLEANS – Five Gulf states still seeking to restore their coastal waters and habitats after the devastating oil spill of 2010 will divvy up nearly $370 million for an array of projects that will create new wetlands, restore fisheries, aid sea turtles and more.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced the grants Tuesday for Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida as those states strive to bounce back from one of the largest environmental disasters in history.

Millions of barrels of oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days after an offshore rig fire and explosion in April 2010. British Petroleum, which was found primarily responsible for the spill, has paid billions in cleanup costs, settlements and penalties.

The funding announced Tuesday in New Orleans is the fourth and largest round of grants yet that the foundation — which oversees part of the money from criminal penalties paid by BP and other defendants — is allotting for the Gulf’s recovery. That fund is getting a total of $2.5 billion over five years for projects to repair the damage.

In a statement it said Louisiana is getting more than $245 million, Alabama roughly $63 million, Florida more than $32 million, Mississippi $16.2 million and Texas nearly $12 million. Among other projects, the money will help:

— Louisiana plans for engineering and design of two major projects to divert sediment from the Mississippi River, creating new wetlands.

— Alabama and Texas to buy land and restore significant coastal habitats.

— Florida to monitor fisheries and improving the response to sea turtle stranding.

— Mississippi to expand a program to monitor and help coastal birds and one to protect marine mammals and sea turtles.

Tanner Johnson, director of the fund, said BP PLC and other defendants will make two more payments totalling about $1 billion by Jan. 30, 2018.

Environmentalists who were not involved in the process said they were encouraged by the announcement, made at a news conference in New Orleans.

The National Wildlife Foundation is “really excited about the projects that are coming through this round,” said Amanda Fuller, deputy director of that group’s Gulf of Mexico restoration project.

She praised strategic land acquisitions as crucial to creating healthy estuaries and wetlands after the damage of oil-stained coasts in 2010.

One Texas project will move fresh water from the Sabine River into 18,000 acres of wetlands in that coastal watershed, she said.

“It’s particularly interesting in Texas, which is a drought-prone state with issues in maintaining adequate flow,” Fuller said.

Work stops at electric-car factory site outside Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Work has been suspended at a site outside Las Vegas where Nevada has pledged up to $335 million worth of incentives to an upstart electric car company that promises to have a vehicle still on the drawing board rolling off a new $1 billion assembly line in 2018.

The idling of the Faraday Future project at the Apex Industrial Park site in North Las Vegas was characterized by company spokesman Ezekiel Wheeler as a “temporary adjustment, or a work stop.”

Wheeler said hitting pause will let the company direct money and attention to developing the concept car it wants to present at the big Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.

“Our refocusing is to ensure we bring a cutting-edge vehicle to a very dated system … and show the world what we’re capable of,” Wheeler said.

“We want to fully fulfil our promise to the state of Nevada” for the 3 million-square-foot facility, he added.

The contractor, industrial construction firm AECOM, said it has completed grading and foundation work, and it expects the go-ahead to resume construction next year.

“At this time, Faraday Future is temporarily adjusting their construction schedule with plans to resume in early 2017,” AECOM spokesman Brendan Ranson-Walsh said in an email statement. “We remain fully committed to our client and our employees working on this project, and we look forward to the facility’s successful delivery.”

Gov. Brian Sandoval called Nevada lawmakers to a special Legislative session 11 months ago to approve $215 million in tax breaks and $120 million in infrastructure improvements to attract Gardena, California-based Faraday Future to the North Las Vegas site.

In a statement, Steve Hill, chief of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, vowed Tuesday that the state will be protected “in the event the full factory does not open to produce and sell cars.”

“Faraday Future does not earn abatements until they have invested $1 billion on the site,” Hill said, and the state won’t issue bonds to fund infrastructure until the company “provides security equal to the amount of the bonds.”

Bond funding isn’t expected to occur until next at least September, Hill added, and it will need approval by the state Board of Finance. The five-member board is chaired by the governor and includes state Treasurer Dan Schwartz, Controller Ron Knecht and two appointed members.

Schwartz has been a critic from the start of the Faraday Future project relying on what he called “financing by a mysterious Chinese billionaire for a project in a financially challenged municipality.”

Schwartz said he remains skeptical the project will succeed. “I think he’s out of money,” Schwartz said of Chinese entrepreneur Jia Yueting, the financial backer of the electric car effort.

Wheeler and Hill each acknowledged that Jia has faced questions about the sustainability of a swift business expansion aimed at attracting U.S. customers. One of Jia’s Chinese companies, LeEco, unveiled a sleek smartphone last month to compete with Apple’s latest iPhone and Google’s Pixel phone.

In July, LeEco announced it was buying Vizio, a leading North American brand for smart TV and sound bar sales.

“We understand his rapid growth … (and) questions about overexpansion and cash issues,” Wheeler said.

But Hill, the Faraday Future official, insisted the electric car project is a top Jia priority. “LeEco has announced that it will become more disciplined in the management of its enterprises,” he said.

Ritchie Bros. buys Kramer Auctions to strengthen presence in central Canada

VANCOUVER – Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (TSX:RBA) has acquired Kramer Auctions to strengthen its presence in the Prairies and grow the scale of its Canadian agricultural business.

Kramer Auctions, headquartered in North Battleford, Sask., operates approximately 75 on-the-farm auctions, four on site auctions and eight livestock auctions each year in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

The family owned and operated company sold more than $60 million of agricultural equipment, real estate and other assets in the last year.

Ritchie Bros., which sells used equipment for the construction, transportation, agriculture, energy, mining, forestry and other industries, said it intends to retain the Kramer brand for the immediate future.

Kramer Trailer Sales was not acquired by Ritchie Bros. and remains owned by the Kramer family.

No other terms of the deal were disclosed.

How interest rates affect small businesses in Canada – CBC.ca (blog)

(Photo Credit: iStock.com/DragonImages)

Small business is big business in Canada. According to Statistics Canada, small businesses account for 97 per cent of businesses across the country. They contribute about 30 per cent of their respective province’s GDP and employ over 70 per cent of Canada’s total private workforce.

Despite playing such an integral role in this country’s economy, small business are the most susceptible to economic fluctuations – especially those tied to interest rate changes.

“Rate changes have an impact on small businesses because [small businesses] have [fewer] sources of cash and harder times getting money,” says Rudy Fischer, CPA, CMA and business consultant with RK Fischer and Associates.

“Anyone who relies on…any kind of funding will feel the impact of an interest rate increase, particularly if they have a lot of debt.”

StatsCan data released in June 2016 shows that just over half of the small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Canada sought external financing, with more than 80 per cent of start-ups using personal financing to fund their new businesses — that’s a lot of small businesses at mercy of interest rates.   

‘An interest-rate increase comes straight out of profits’

Manufacturers, construction companies and any businesses that  hold a large amount of inventory feel the sting of interest rate hikes the most, because these types of businesses have  upfront costs that can’t be recouped.

“The cost [of an interest rate increase] comes straight out of profits,” says Fischer. 

For example: a construction company buys all the materials for a project in advance, but gets paid for a job when it’s complete. They can’t charge a client more if interest rates change halfway through a build.

Luckily for us, interest rates in Canada are still at rock-bottom lows — with no increase in the forecast.

The same can’t be said for our US neighbours. In late September, US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen announced that a winter rate increase is coming.

Pierre Cléroux, chief economist for the Business Development Bank of Canada, says that a US interest rate increase itself will have little impact on small businesses in Canada, but the downward pressure it puts on our already-volatile Canadian dollar is another matter.

Higher interest rates in the US mean the Canadian dollar may fall, and that’s bad news for businesses that import from the US )and other countries that trade using the greenback), like wholesalers and retailers.

Low loonie highs

Clearly, a low dollar isn’t great for anyone who buys products or services from the US, but it’s good for those who sell to the south – like seafood exporters, car part makers, those who sell professional services and those in the tourist industry.  A low loonie makes it cheaper for other countries to buy our wares. Right now, about 11 per cent of SMEs in Canada export, which accounts for 25 per cent of all our exported goods and services.

A low dollar can also force Canadians to shop locally and encourage Canadian businesses to source local producers. Once shipping and exchange rates are factored into the cost of items from the US, they may be more expensive than products found right here at home.

Despite the unknowns, what-ifs and impacts  interest rate changes,  Cléroux says that now is a good time for small businesses in Canada.

Chinese billionaire club to embark on business tour of Canada – The Globe and Mail

Hungry for deals and an audience with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a group of Chinese tycoons is preparing for its first trip to Canada, only weeks after a pair of high-profile visits between leaders of the two countries.

The China Entrepreneur Club has been called the world’s most exclusive, its 50 members including billionaires who oversee companies that together amass nearly $600-billion (Canadian) in annual revenue.

On Saturday, the club will launch an eight-day tour that will bring several of its members into rooms with Canada’s political and business elite.

The visit comes as China seeks a new “golden” era with Canada, while its businesses conduct a global hunt for companies and assets.

Last year, Chinese firms invested $118-billion (U.S.) abroad, a tally that is expected to rise rapidly in coming years, amid a quest to procure global innovation that will create new questions about the degree to which countries like Canada are prepared to see high-tech assets fall into foreign hands.

“We want to lubricate the business environment,” said Maggie Cheng, the club’s secretary-general.

Previous visits have taken the club to the United States, Britain, Germany, Australia and elsewhere with a similar strategy: to arrange a series of face-to-face meetings, in hopes of easing suspicions and smoothing the way for future deals.

“Building trust means lowering the costs of trade,” Ms. Cheng said.

Canada is the eighth-largest destination for Chinese overseas spending, but Chinese businesses are eager for more, and the club will visit Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver.

The federal government, which has promised a doubling in trade with China by 2025, has been eager to work with the billionaires. Mr. Trudeau met with the club in Beijing in late August, and is expected to spend 90 minutes with it in Ottawa next Tuesday.

Some of the club’s most recognizable faces, including Alibaba founder Jack Ma, will not be there. The delegation will instead include leaders of companies involved in real estate, digital technology, tourism, railways, private equity and fashion.

They have scheduled time with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and cabinet ministers in several provinces. They will also meet a raft of corporate leaders, including bank chieftains, tech entrepreneurs and Canada’s own reclusive rich, such as Ron Mannix and Jimmy Pattison.

Conspicuously absent from the agenda, however, are oil executives – or Alberta, once the destination for most of China’s billions. The CNOOC Ltd. takeover of Nexen still stands as one of the largest Chinese acquisitions of a foreign company.

The omission reflects how Chinese companies today are chasing new quarry, pursuing ideas and technology that they can use at home, rather than merely resources and property.

The changing priorities reflect a shift in China itself, where the central government is struggling to move away from rusting industry toward a more creative economy with a lighter environmental footprint.

“Chinese companies are in the midst of major transformation,” said Xu Jinghong, chairman of Tsinghua Holdings, the investment arm of Tsinghua University.

Mr. Xu, who is among those planning to visit Canada, said they “have a growing wish to enter the world, and their pace is growing faster.”

And, he added, “Canada is a good choice to co-operate with.”

But that shift also creates a set of potential problems for Canada, which, after struggling with the sale of oil assets to state-owned companies, will now increasingly have to determine whether it wants its brightest innovations to fall into Chinese hands.

Conservative foreign affairs critic Peter Kent called it a case of caveat venditor, urging the government to exercise caution. He recalled former prime minister Stephen Harper saying, “When we say that Canada is open for business, we do not mean that Canada is for sale to foreign governments.”

One example of the new wave of investments is Tsinghua Holdings, a Chinese technology investor with nearly $7-billion (Canadian) in assets that has already established a beachhead in Canada and is moving to rapidly expand. Last year, Tsinghua-backed firms partnered with Simon Fraser University for a new China Canada Clean Tech Innovation Centre, whose goals include investing Chinese money in Canadian startups.

The centre has already picked up stakes in companies developing electric car charging technology, advanced materials, new kinds of batteries, wind turbines and advances in medical imaging and radiation scanning. It has made other investments in cultural industries, including the musical adaptation of a Chinese play.

Centre president William Li says it acts as a “golden bridge,” bringing Chinese money into the Vancouver tech scene, while also providing Canadian entrepreneurs with new paths into China’s vast market.

Mr. Li hopes to persuade Chinese investors to buy more than Canadian real estate. “If they have the opportunity to invest in a unicorn like Uber, they will be more happy than if they buy a house,” he said.

But in its ambition, the centre is already setting up clashes. It is looking to create a $100-million investment fund by the end of this year, 60 per cent of which it hopes will come from China. For the remainder, it is looking to Ottawa and Victoria, with the idea that governments can commit money that will help pry open wallets in China.

In British Columbia, however, local investors say none of the money from a planned provincial venture capital fund should go to Chinese interests. “That would be the wrong way to go,” said Wal van Lierop, president of Vancouver venture capital firm Chrysalix, citing fears that B.C. money would be put toward investments outside the province. “Venture capital from the B.C. government should not leak away to China,” he said.

Mr. van Lierop said Canada should “really embrace what China can offer” in money and market access. But he said, “Do you have to be careful in dealing with China? Yeah, you should.”

Fears of intellectual-property theft remain.

“We in the Official Opposition would urge prudence and caution in these upcoming talks with major Chinese investors,” Mr. Kent said.

“Prime Minister Trudeau must do due diligence on the investment history of the visiting billionaires … and ensure they are not fronts for Chinese state-owned enterprises. Also, there must be a deep background check on the human rights history of these gentlemen’s businesses.”

China also has a history of using foreign technology to buttress its authoritarian rule, including hardware used to censor the Internet and curb free speech.

Mr. Xu himself has publicly supported government management of the Internet. But asked whether Canadian companies should be wary of exporting savvy to China on human-rights grounds, he demurred. “That’s not something I can talk about,” he said. “I can only promise that any collaboration with Tsinghua Holdings will certainly be used in the marketplace.”

Who’s who in the entrepreneur club

Jiang Xipei

Chief executive officer of Far East Holding Group Co. Ltd., which built an empire on electrical cables, becoming China’s top manufacturer for 18 straight years. It has expanded into pharmaceuticals, the Internet of Things and smart cities. On the Hurun list of China’s richest, ranked No. 358 last year, worth $1.4-billion (U.S.).

Ma Weihua

President and CEO of China Merchants Bank from 1999 to 2013, a time when it expanded from a single location to 900, growing to 50,000 employees in China and listing it on the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges. China Merchants Bank is today among the world’s top 100, and Mr. Ma has been called one of China’s “most innovative bankers.”

Wang Chaoyong

Founding chairman and CEO of ChinaEquity Group Inc., a venture capital and private equity firm that has invested in Chinese success stories like Baidu, Sohu and Huayi Brothers, as well as international brands like Aston Martin. Its equity value exceeds $3-billion, and last year, Mr. Wang reached No. 793 on the Hurun China rich list, worth $750-million.

Wang Ruoxiong

Chairman of Tentimes Group. Co. Ltd., a property development firm that has been a leader in branding and green housing. No. 947 on last year’s Hurun China list, worth $630-million. A villa he owns has been named one of China’s top-10 luxury homes. In recent years, he has become an outspoken Christian executive. “I am merely a housekeeper of Jesus, assisting him in taking care of the company,” he told the BBC.

Feng Jun

Chairman of aigo Digital Technology Co Ltd. He got his start selling computer keyboards at a tiny profit, and built his company into a major manufacturer of digital cameras, USB flash drives and music players. Corporate revenues of nearly $400-million a year.

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Solar Brokers Canada Selects Sungevity as Solutions Provider in U.S. Expansion – Business Wire (press release)

OAKLAND, Calif. & TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sungevity, Inc., a technology-driven solutions provider offering high service levels and a broad range of options to residential and commercial solar energy customers, and Solar Brokers Canada, Canada’s largest solar energy reseller generating over 12 MW of business in 2015 throughout the Canadian market, today announced a partnership to market Sungevity Energy Systems to prospective residential customers in the Unites States. Enabled by Sungevity’s industry-leading software technology platform and actively commencing in October 2016, the partnership will cover the U.S. states in which Sungevity currently services residential customers, with an initial focus on California, the nation’s leading state in solar adoption. The deal between Sungevity and Solar Brokers Canada, which will operate as Solar Brokers America in the U.S., links two companies with similar partner-based business models, and who share a mutual focus on providing a high degree of customer service.

“We are excited to continue our rapid growth, and scale our presence in the American solar market,” said J.C. Awwad, Chief Executive Officer, Solar Brokers Canada. “We chose to partner with Sungevity primarily because our complimentary business models create synergy between our two companies. We are confident that this partnership will add value to the marketplace.”

“Our new partnership with Solar Brokers Canada is another proof point that we provide a highly attractive, efficient solution for businesses looking to scale their solar offering,” said Andrew Birch, Chief Executive Officer, Sungevity, Inc. “We are very pleased to join forces with them as they enter the U.S. solar marketplace.”

About Solar Brokers Canada

Solar Brokers Canada Corp. has established itself as an industry leader in the field of residential solar energy solutions in Canada. Having brokered over 12 MW of solar business in 2015, the firm has helped thousands of homeowners adopt solar. Through strategic alliances with top tier partners, Solar Brokers Canada’s focus on quality assurance and project management ensures a professional and industry-compliant installation – every time!

About Sungevity

Sungevity, Inc. is a technology-driven solutions provider, offering high service levels and a broad range of options to residential and commercial solar energy customers. Sungevity’s asset-light business model focuses on value-added in-house services for software platform development, project management and customer experience; this focus is enabled by a strong, scalable network of third-party providers for asset-intensive and/or lower margin provision of hardware, installation services and financing. Sungevity’s disruptive and competitive model delivers greater value directly to customers and, for stockholders, captures immediate financial value at the time of sale. For more information visit www.sungevity.com.

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