Total spurs renewables drive with $2.5 billion stake in Adani Green

Sudip Kar-Gupta and Benjamin Mallet
·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: The logo of French oil and gas company Total

By Sudip Kar-Gupta and Benjamin Mallet

PARIS (Reuters) - Total is paying $2.5 billion for a share in India's Adani Green Energy Limited (AGEL) and its solar power assets, in what the French company said was its biggest investment yet in renewables.

As it furthers its strategic shift from fossil fuel, the deal will give Total a 20% stake in AGEL and a seat on its board, as well as a 50% share in the Indian firm's portfolio of solar power assets.

AGEL is controlled by Indian conglomerate Adani Group and has a market capitalisation of about 1.483 trillion Indian rupees ($20.25 billion).

Growing investor pressure has spurred Europe's top energy companies to outline plans to curb emissions and boost renewable energy output.

On Twitter, Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne said the deal with Adani "represents the biggest investment in renewables ever made by Total. It's a further demonstration of our transformation strategy. By 2020, Total will be in the top 5 for renewable energy."

Total's shares dipped 0.7% in early trading, as oil prices fell, but investment bank Barclays said Total was one of its top picks, with an "overweight" rating. [O/R]

AGEL is targeting 25 GW of renewable power generation by 2025, and Total said AGEL would make an important contribution to meeting Total's goal of 35 gigawatts (GW) of gross production capacity from renewable sources by 2025 from around 9 GW now.

Last week, Total became the first major energy company to quit the main U.S. oil and gas lobby, the American Petroleum Institute, citing disagreements over the lobby's climate policies and support for easing drilling regulations.

($1 = 73.2320 Indian rupees)

(Additional reporting by Shadia Nasralla and Ron Bousso; Writing by Christian Lowe; editing by Barbara Lewis)