Total closes SunPower deal: Big oil goes solar

Summary:Oil and gas giant Total has completed its cash-tender offer to own 60 percent of solar power system player SunPower.

Oil and gas giant Total said Wednesday that it has completed its cash-tender offer to own 60 percent of solar power system player SunPower.

Total paid $23.25 a share, or $1.3 billion, for its stake. AS noted previously, Total's plan revolves around taking oil money and funding solar projects via SunPower. Total's relationships abroad with key power providers and governments will also give SunPower some key connections. European regulators gave the Total investment the go-ahead last week .

In a statement, Philippe Boisseau, president of Total Gas & Power, said "the marketplace requires global integrated industrial players that are financially stable and committed to advancing cutting-edge technology."

SunPower CEO Tom Werner said the Total investment will bolster the company's research and development efforts.

The most notable piece of the Total-SunPower deal is a guaranteed credit line that will lower the cost of investing in solar projects upfront. That credit line will be critical as it appears that the solar industry is entering a rough patch as subsidies are cut in Europe.

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Topics: Innovation


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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