SunPower Buys Total's Solar Subsidiary, Tenesol

US-based SunPower Corp (Nasdaq: SPWR), which sold a majority stake to French oil giant Total (TOTF.PA) earlier this year, is acquiring another solar company owned by Total.

SunPower is buying Tenesol for $165.4 million in cash that will consolidate Total’s solar business under one roof.

As part of the acquisition, Total will purchase another 18.6 million shares of SunPower stock, bringing its ownership from 60% to 66%. Total agreed to buy the shares at a 50% premium to SunPower’s $8.80 closing price on December 22.

Tenesol, which has been designing, manufacturing and installing solar systems since 1983, has manufacturing plants in France and South Africa, and operations in 18 countries. It’s  expected to report $261 million in 2011 revenues.

The company is a leader in the French market for large industrial and commercial solar PV rooftop installations. It’s built over 15,000 solar systems worldwide for a total of 500 megawatts (MW).  Combined with SunPower, the new consolidated company has a global portfolio of 2500 MW of solar.

"Our acquisition of Tenesol is another step toward differentiating ourselves in the competitive solar market, further expanding our downstream presence and benefiting from the strong backing of Total," says Tom Werner , SunPower CEO.  "We said on day one that the partnership with Total would provide strength to our balance sheet, access to new markets and investment in research and development."

"Combining the activities of Tenesol with SunPower is a step forward in Total’s strategy to become a world player in the promising solar industry," says Philippe Boisseau , president, Total Gas and Power Division.  "SunPower brings the world’s highest efficiency, highest reliability technology to market with guaranteed performance.  Tenesol’s well-established channels, manufacturing base and complementary global footprint will help expand SunPower’s market reach and accelerate its share gain during market consolidation."

Total, the fifth largest oil company in the world, also owns a 20% stake  in Massachusetts-based Konarka, which makes organic solar cells, as well as 22% of Amyris, as part of its strategy to diversify into solar and biofuels.

Amyris (Nasdaq: AMRS) has a deal with Total to jointly develop,  and commercialize biofuels for the aviation industry

In October, SunPower issued the first Sustainability Report in the solar industry.

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