French oil major Total agrees to buy Direct Energie in €1.4 billion deal

Once the acquisition is completed, Total will launch a tender offer for the rest of Direct Energie’s shares at the same price of €42 per share. (Reuters)
Updated 18 April 2018

French oil major Total agrees to buy Direct Energie in €1.4 billion deal

PARIS: French oil major Total said it will buy a majority stake in electricity retailer Direct Energie in a €1.4 billion deal that will make it the number two power supplier in France after utility EDF.
Total said it had entered into an agreement with the controlling shareholders of Direct Energie to acquire 74.33 percent of the firm’s capital at a price of €42 per share, ex-dividend of €0.35 per share, representing overall an acquisition price of approximately €1.4 billion.
“This friendly takeover is part of the group’s strategy to expand along the entire gas-electricity value chain and to develop low-carbon energies, in line with our ambition to become the responsible energy major,” Total chief executive and chairman Patrick Pouyanne said in a statement.
Once the acquisition is completed, Total will launch a tender offer for the rest of Direct Energie’s shares at the same price of €42 per share, which represents a 30 percent premium over Direct Energie’s April 17 closing price and a 24 percent premium over its three-month average price.
The offer thus values Direct Energie at about 12.5 times its 2018 projected core earnings, Total added.
Direct Energie’s board has unanimously approved the transaction and has announced its intention to recommend it to shareholders, it added.
Total entered the French retail power market in 2016 with the €200 million acquisition of Belgian power retailer Lampiris, which had already built up a French client portfolio.
The Direct Energie acquisition will add 2.6 million clients to Total’s 1.5 million client portfolio.
Total aims to become a leading player in power supply in France and Belgium and is targeting over 6 million customers in France and more than 1 million customers in Belgium by 2022.


Iran rial slides to new low as coronavirus, sanctions weigh

Updated 04 July 2020

Iran rial slides to new low as coronavirus, sanctions weigh

  • The dollar was offered for as much as 215,500 rials, softening from 208,200 on Friday
  • The rial lost about 70% of its value in the months after May 2018 as Iranians snapped up dollars

DUBAI: The Iranian rial fell to a new low against the US dollar on the unofficial market on Saturday, as the economy comes under pressure from the coronavirus pandemic and US sanctions.
The dollar was offered for as much as 215,500 rials, softening from 208,200 on Friday, according to foreign exchange site Bonbast.com. The economic daily Donya-e-Eqtesad’s website gave the dollar rate as 215,250, compared with 207,500 on Friday.
In May 2018, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from a multilateral deal aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program and reimposed sanctions that have since battered the economy.
A drop in oil prices and a slump in the global economy have deepened the economic crisis in the country, which also has the highest death toll in the Middle East from the pandemic.
The rial’s decline has continued despite assurances from Iranian Central Bank Governor Abdolnaser Hemmati last week that the bank had injected hundreds of millions of dollars to stabilize the currency market.
The rial lost about 70% of its value in the months after May 2018 as Iranians snapped up dollars, fearing Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal and sanctions could shrink vital oil exports and severely impact the economy.
The official exchange rate is 42,000 rials per dollar and is used mostly for imports of state-subsidised food and medicine.