France's Total completes Direct Energie deal and buys electric vehicles charging firm

The logo of French oil giant Total is pictured on the facade of a building in Paris, France, August 5, 2018. Picture taken August 5, 2018. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

PARIS (Reuters) - Total has expanded its footprint in the French electricity market with the completion of its takeover of alternative power supplier Direct Energie, and the acquisition of an electric vehicle charging solutions provider.

The oil and gas major said in separate statements on Thursday that it had finalised its $1.7 billion deal to buy Direct Energie, holding 95.37 percent of the share capital and at least 95.33 percent of the voting rights of this company.

Direct Energie’s takeover will enable Total to grab a sizeable share of the French retail electricity market and challenge state-controlled utility EDF.

Total also announced the acquisition of G2mobility, which provides electric vehicle charging solutions. It did not disclose the amount for that transaction.

The takeovers form part of Total’s strategy to expand in the French power market. Those plans include moves for Total to produce its own power, distributing it to clients, and developing its low carbon businesses.

It aims to grow its low-carbon energy assets to 20 percent of total assets by 2035 from 5 percent today.

“With a market share of more than 25 percent of charging points for local governments and growth in revenues of over 50 percent last year, G2mobility brings us a new competency to provide more efficient electric charging systems for our B2B and B2C customers,” said Momar Nguer, Total’s head of marketing and services, in a statement.

As part of the G2mobility deal, Total also signed a partnership agreement with cable company Nexans, to help develop infrastructure for electric vehicles in France.

Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta