Anil Srivastava and Robert Fishman discuss AREVA's acquisition of Ausra

"Tigercomm is not just a vendor. They are a strategic business partner, and they provide a valuable competitive advantage for us by effectively delivering our message to customers, investors and policymakers."

Robert E. Fishman
former Chief Executive Officer

AREVA Solar

The Challenge: With proven technology and fully integrated capabilities, Ausra was poised to deploy its equipment globally. In the capital-intensive power industry, cleantech start-up companies face customer concerns about finance growth and equipment performance guarantees. Ausra needed a strategic partner to finance and support its growth. In 2008, Ausra began discussion with AREVA, a global leader in carbon-free energy. After engagement with several possible strategic partners, Ausra determined that AREVA was the best company to deploy its technology, meet customer needs and position the company as a global leader in the Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) industry.

This move took place during a tumultuous period for the solar start-up space. Previous coverage of acquisitions often painted a bleak picture for the future of new renewable energy technologies. Ausra wanted to convey the strategic benefits of the AREVA acquisition to its customers and project lenders and to underscore a strong future for its technology and the CSP market.

The goal was to secure customer and industry attention about the strategic advantages of the acquisition-both for AREVA and Ausra. This acquisition was AREVA's first venture in the solar industry, and the announcement had to integrate the existing communications operations of two companies across three continents and to convey the synergies of nuclear energy and CSP. Tigercomm had served Ausra through $130 million in private equity funding, a demonstration project launch and several initial sales. We crafted a message and delivery plan to emphasize the reasons behind the acquisition-the strength of Ausra's technology, smart business strategy and large market potential.

Tigercomm responded to the challenge by:

  • Strategically messaging the acquisition to highlight the benefits for Ausra, AREVA and the global solar industry.
  • Securing interviews with print, online and broadcast outlets in key markets before the announcement to ensure positive initial coverage.
  • Conducting interview practice sessions with Ausra and AREVA executives based on Tigercomm's experience in media training over 1,600 people.
  • Helping produce a video announcement for the companies' websites and online outreach.
  • Identifying and shaping the online content for the announcement on Ausra's website.
  • Designing and drafting on-message news release and media kit content.
  • Monitoring emerging stories, emphasizing positive coverage and pushing back against any inaccuracies to avoid their spread in succeeding stories.

Results:

Outlets in key international markets reported the deal as a winner for both companies and a validation of Ausra's technology, business strategy and management team. We secured joint interviews with Ausra and AREVA leadership on CNBC Europe and on Fox Business News. In total, the story was picked up by more than 150 outlets, including Reuters, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News, the New York Times’ Green Inc. Blog, Greentech Media and Earth2tech.

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