Total To Pay $1.7B For French Utility Direct Energie

By Annie Pancak (April 18, 2018, 7:40 PM EDT) -- French energy giant Total said Wednesday that it will buy Paris-based utility Direct Energie in a €1.4 billion ($1.7 billion) deal, strengthening the company's presence as an electricity provider in France and Belgium.

The move comes as Total SA has been establishing itself as a "leading alternative supplier" of natural gas and electricity, after announcing in 2015 that it would set aside $500 million per year for renewable energy development.

Direct Energie's board of directors unanimously approved Total's plan to acquire nearly 75 percent of the electric utility's shares at €42 per share, according to statements from the companies. The price represents...

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