French oil giant Total to buy battery maker Saft Groupe for €950 mn

French oil and gas company Total SA yesterday said that it has signed a friendly agreement to buy battery manufacturer Saft Groupe SA, as part of its plan to accelerate its development in the fields of renewable energy and electricity.

Total, based in Paris, will offer €36.5 per Saft share, ex-dividend of 0.85 per share, valuing Saft's equity at €950 million.

The offer price represents a 38.3 per cent premium above Saft's closing share price of €26.40 on 6 May 2016.

The offer values the company at nine times its 2015 reported EBITDA, representing a significant control premium compared to recent valuation multiples in the battery industry.

Saft is a leading designer and manufacturer of advanced technology batteries for industry.

The Group is the world's leading manufacturer of nickel batteries and primary lithium batteries for the industrial infrastructure and processes, transportation and civil and military electronics markets.

It is also the world leader in space and defense batteries with its Li-ion technologies which are also deployed in the energy storage, transportation and telecommunication network markets.

It employs over 4,100 people in 19 countries, has 14 manufacturing sites and an extensive sales network.

''The combination of Saft and Total will enable Saft to become the Group's spearhead in electricity storage'', said Patrick Pouyanné, chairman and CEO of Total. "The acquisition of Saft is part of Total's ambition to accelerate its development in the fields of renewable energy and electricity, initiated in 2011 with the acquisition of SunPower.

"I am convinced that Total will provide Saft with the required expertise and resources needed for its future development, particularly in terms of technological and commercial capabilities. This transaction will benefit Saft's clients and employees, who will be joining a major player in the energy space," said, Ghislain Lescuyer, CEO of Saft.