Saga Solar, SBC to be Acquired by Indigenous Owned Aki Development, LLC

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Manufacturer of photovoltaic solar panels Saga to be acquired by Aki Development - First photovoltaic panels manufacturer to be located on indigenous land.

Saga Solar, a Minnesota based photovoltaic solar panels manufacturer, and Aki Development, a tribally chartered indigenous owned company located on the Leech Lake Territory of the Ojibwa Nation in northern Minnesota, announced today that they will be entering into a definitive merger agreement under which Aki Development will acquire a majority stake in Saga Solar, SBC, a Public Benefit Corporation solar module manufacturer that produces solar panels compliant with the Made in Minnesota program. The Board of Directors of both companies have unanimously approved the merger, which is expected to rapidly be accretive upon closing by the end of this month.

Said Mike Myers, CEO of Aki Development, “For many Indigenous cultures the sun is considered their Grandfather or oldest Brother, one of the creative forces who makes life possible and continues to sustain, empower and encourage our growth and development. Our acquisition of Saga and the promotion of growth in solar power and related green technologies offers Indigenous nations and peoples a way to continue their partnership with their Grandfather to work together for a cleaner, resilient and more sustainable future.”

As a result of the acquisition, Saga Solar’s main production facility will be relocated from Saint Paul to Cass Lake Minnesota, the seat of the Leech Lake Ojibwa’s tribal government, and become the first and only solar panel manufacturer to be indigenously owned and located within the territory of a First Nations’ tribal land. Aki’s main focus for the acquisition is to create jobs, encourage Indigenous engineering, research, and innovation through partnership with their local tribal community college, and create sustainability – economically, environmentally, culturally and socially – by stimulating culturally based development, and fulfilling a responsibility to the Seventh Generation.

When reached for comment R. Marie Zola, Founder and CEO of Saga Solar said, “I couldn’t be happier to be a part of something that I hope is much larger than any one individual helping to make this partnership a reality. Ever since contacting Rob [Aitken, executive director of Leech Lake Financial Services] after reading about Senator Franken’s efforts to help Indian Country in the Star Tribune, this merger seems to have been serendipity in motion. I always envisioned Saga fulfilling this sort of mission, and am a bit overwhelmed to see it actually coming to fruition.”

About Saga Solar

Saga Solar is a Specific Benefit Corporation (SBC) committed to social responsibility and community outreach. Saga's stated specific public benefit is to support the adoption of carbon free energy solutions in Minnesota and throughout the United States. Saga fulfills this public benefit by sponsoring and participating in events that advance solar, supporting local solar organizations and legislation like Made in Minnesota, and by promoting and distributing disruptive solar technologies like the Sun Bandit® solar hybrid energy system.*

To facilitate community involvement and charitable giving in 2016, Saga partnered with Rural Renewable Energy Alliance (RREAL), a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt nonprofit organization that has been delivering solar energy to low-income individuals and communities since inception to solve fuel poverty with solar energy. RREAL does this by balancing the use of advanced technology with the interests of the environment while bringing lasting independence, economic, and social change to communities.

*Sun Bandit® is a trademark-registered, patented product innovation of Next Generation Energy®

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R. Marie Zola
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since: 01/2016
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