French oil giant Total in talks to sell gas network unit for $3.25 bn

French oil giant Total SA yesterday said it has entered into exclusive talks with a consortium led by Italian gas transport group Snam for the sale of its Transport et Infrastructures Gaz France (TIGF) gas network unit.

The Paris-based company said that the  consortium comprising Snam, EDF and Government of Singapore Investment Corporation has submitted a firm offer to acquire TIGF for €2.4 billion ($3.25 billion).

''The consortium selected, consisting of industry-leading operators and long term investors, will support TIGF in its further development, while meeting the commitments made to TIGF's employees and partners,'' said Christophe de Margerie, chairman and CEO of Total.

Speaking on behalf of the consortium, Thomas Piquemal, member of EDF's executive committee and Group CFO, and Carlo Malacarne, Snam's CEO, said, "The Consortium greatly looks forward to meeting in Pau with TIGF's employee representatives to present its plans for the support and the development of TIGF. We want to share our vision for a strong TIGF and for its role as a leading gas infrastructure located at the heart of the European network." 

Total said that it had initiated a dialogue and executed agreements with employee representatives from the time it announced its intention of selling TIGF regarding maintaining jobs, benefits and its headquarters in Pau.

TIGF provides gas transmission and storage services in 15 departments in southwestern France.