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SolarCity to Buy Direct-Marketing Unit for $120 Million

SolarCity Corp. agreed to buy a solar direct-marketing company majority-owned by Guthy-Renker LLC for about $120 million in stock and cash to reach more customers.

Paramount Energy Solutions LLC has about 150 employees in Sacramento, California, SolarCity Chief Executive Officer Lyndon Rive said in a phone interview today. Guthy-Renker CEO Ben Van de Bunt is expected to join SolarCity’s board later this year and Haynes Barnard, CEO of Paramount Equity, will join SolarCity as chief revenue officer.

The acquisition will help San Mateo, California-based SolarCity reduce costs associated with finding new customers for its rooftop solar systems and meet a goal of reaching 1 million customers, or 6,000 megawatts installed, by July 4, 2018, Rive said. SolarCity increased its 2013 guidance to 278 megawatts to account for the acquisition.

“We’re highly confident we can meet that goal with this marketing team,” Rive said. “You need a comprehensive marketing package and they have some of the lowest costs in the solar industry.”

The transaction will be paid for using $116.3 million in SolarCity shares and the remainder in cash. Guthy-Renker is the company behind the acne treatment Proactiv Solution.

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