Oil giant Total values battery maker Saft at €950 million as pair agree takeover

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Saft has already delivered large-scale storage systems to projects in regions including Puerto Rico, where renewable energy installations must have energy storage integrated into their systems to be approved for grid connection. Image: Saft.

Oil and gas company Total has proposed to buy battery company Saft, which produces devices for the stationary storage industry as well as for transport and other applications.

Total said this morning that it had filed a friendly tender offer, following the signing of an agreement with Saft. In line with the “friendly” aspect of the takeover, the energy producer is willing to pay a premium on shares, offering to buy them at €36.50 (US$41.58), which is 38.3% above their valuation as of Friday and 41.9% above the weighted average share value over the past six months. Total valued Saft at €950 million (US$1,082 million), or nine times the battery maker’s 2015 reported EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation).

Saft’s product range includes the Intensium Max Lithium-Ion containerised storage solution, which it has deployed to numerous recent grid-connected and off-grid projects in regions including solar-plus-storage leaders Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The company also makes its own residential systems and recently deployed an innovative US project to store energy from regenerative braking on trains to then play into grid-balancing frequency regulation markets. Saft recently also opened a new facility in China and enjoyed a visit from US president Barack Obama at its manufacturing plant in Florida in February.

With over 100,000 employees, Total is in the top five oil and gas producers worldwide but also holds a majority stake in leading high-efficiency PV manufacturer SunPower.

After already being met with unanimous approval by Saft’s board who recommended shareholders tender their shares, the proposed takeover remains subject to approval from the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF).

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,” Patrick Pouyanné, Total’s chairman and 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,” Saft CEO Ghislain Lescuyer said.

“This transaction will benefit Saft’s clients and employees, who will be joining a major player in the energy space”.    

Saft launched a residential system in the middle of last year. Image: Saft.

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