By Ahmed Samir
Acropol Renewable Energy Solutions (ARES) plans to offer 10 percent of its shares for trading in the Nile Stock Exchange (NILEX). The offering is consistent with the company’s expansion strategy in the Egyptian and North African markets, as well as its establishment of a new factory for manufacturing solar panels, which is estimated to cost EGP five million.
Mostafa El-Zoghby, Chairman of ARES, said the company signed a contract with Arab Chartered Accountants (ACA) Magdy Hashish & Co. and RSM International to handle the financial auditing. Furthermore, FinCorp Investment Holding, a Cairo-based securities firm, will take charge of the offering process.
El-Zoghby explained that the company is targeting annual sales worth EGP 10 million, with a 20 percent annual increase. The new factory is expected to decrease product costs by substituting importing with manifesting. Doing so would eliminate shipping cost and time, thus enhancing the company’s competitiveness across Northern and East African markets, particularly Morocco, Libya and Egypt. She added that the output of the new factory is estimated at 2,000 solar panels annually, costing EGP 4,000 per unit.
In addition, ARES is in negotiations with Prime Solar, one of Germany’s largest Photovoltaic companies. Prime Solar would hopefully become a strategic partner of a 30 percent stake of the company, while keeping management rights to ARES.
Prime Solar allocated EGP 8 million to acquire an Egyptian photovoltaics company by the beginning of next year, El-Zoghby added, revealing that other negotiations with a number of Egyptian photovoltaic companies are in progress to acquire a stake in one of them. Doing so would raise the company’s market share to 80 percent from the original 60 percent.
El-Zoghby confirmed that the ARES has recently signed a contract with the Egyptian Sun Energy for Solar Water Pumping Systems (SWPS) to waive its distribution rights to Lorentz, a leading German manufacturer of solar pumps and solar tracking systems. In return, Sun Energy will receive 30 percent in sales profits.
ARES studies will acquire a 40 percent stake (around EGP three million) of Sun Energy by the end of 2013, in preparation for full acquisition.
Demetrios Nanopolis, Member of the Board of the ARES, said that in 2010 the company achieved EGP eight million in sales, and only EGP five million in 2011. The decline is attributed to the decrease in demand, which resulted from political and economic turbulences.
Furthermore, ARES is the sole distributer for Dimas Solar, a leading Greek manufacturer of solar panels and one of the largest in Europe. ARES won a number of tenders to operate several facilities by solar energy such as the Egyptian chapter of the World Health Organization, the Psychiatric Health Hospital at Cairo University as well as the headquarters for Crédit Agricole Bank. In addition, hotels such as Albatross, Sunrise, Rotana and Hilton are some of ARES’ most important clients.
ARES was established in 2006 and is composed of 8 stakeholders. ARES provides and installs water heaters and water desalination systems which operate by solar energy.