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French oil firm set to buy energy storage company Saft

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 12:30 -- Paul Crompton
French oil firm set to buy energy storage company Saft

If you can’t beat them, join them, is the old English adage. It might be lost in translation but French oil and gas company Total’s plan to buy energy storage firm Saft appears to prove a truth in the old saying.

French battery company Saft announced last Monday it had signed an agreement with Total to sell all of its issued and outstanding shares. 

The firm’s Supervisory Board is also due to recommend its shareholders tender their shares following its unanimous approval of the takeover.

Total is the fourth largest oil and gas company and second largest solar energy operator with SunPower.

And no doubt the renewable energy sector will be where Total plans to use Saft’s technology to grab a share of the rapidly growing energy storage market— especially at grid scale— once the buy-out is complete.

The buy-out will enable Saft to become Total’s spearhead in electricity storage, said Patrick Pouyanné, chairman and CEO of Total.

"The acquisition of Saft is part of Total’s ambition to accelerate its development in the fields of renewable energy and electricity, initiated in 2011 with the acquisition of SunPower," he said.

“It will notably allow us to complement our portfolio with electricity storage solutions, a key component of the future growth of renewable energy.”

The proposed offer will target all of Saft’s issued and outstanding shares at a price of €36.50 ($41.55) per share, ex-dividend of €0.85 ($0.96) per share, valuing Saft’s equity at €950 million (around $1,082million).

Ghislain Lescuyer, Saft’s CEO, said: "I am convinced that Total will provide Saft with the required expertise and resources needed for its future development, particularly in terms of technological and commercial capabilities.”

The proposed offer is subject to review by the French Financial Markets Authority (Autorité des Marchés Financiers), which will evaluate its compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Read the editor's blog here for more on this.