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French Oil Giant Extends Renewables Presence, Acquires Lampiris

French oil major Total has purchased all of the company shares of Lampiris, an independent Belgian renewables company.

Lampiris services about one million accounts and deals in gas and green power sources. It supplies insulation services, furnace maintenance, smart thermostats and some heating fuels. There will be no impact on any of the company’s accounts or suppliers, and no jobs will be affected by the purchase.

Total and Lampiris issued a joint statement on Tuesday saying that both companies agreed to the purchase. Details of the move were not released, but Reuters reports that the deal is thought to be worth approximately $224 million USD.

A spokesman for Total said that the purchase would give the company the opportunity to enter the residential market. The agreement still remains subject to regulatory approval.

Total has aspirations of shoring up its place in the renewable market. Last month, in a move to expand efforts in that direction, the energy giant acquired high-tech battery maker Saft for $1.1 billion. Saft’s board unanimously agreed to the friendly takeover. The company manufactures batteries for industrial, transportation and civil and military markets.

Related: Congress Shoots Down Obama’s $10 Dollar Oil Tax

With an eye on an uncertain oil market, Total plans to divest itself of $10 billion in oil asserts, and make spending cuts. For some time now, it has been trying to shore up a spot in the renewable energy sector, and over the next 20 years it plans to increase its investment and presence in renewables, including solar power.

Total bought controlling stock in SunPower Corp in 2011, a U.S. company for $1.38 billion. Overall, Total plans to invest $500 million USD per year in renewable energy.

In April of this year, Moody’s Investor services downgraded Total’s credit ratings from Aa1 to Aa3, but with a stable outlook.

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By Lincoln Brown for Oilprice.com

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