Total has signed an agreement to sell an interest of 50% plus one share in Géosel Manosque (Géosel) to a 50-50 consortium composed of EDF Invest and Ardian. The transaction values Total's interest at €265 million as of 1 January 2015, excluding inventory and is subject to the confirmation of the other Géosel shareholders and the customary regulatory approvals.
Géosel owns the Manosque underground storage facility in southeastern France and pipelines linking the facility to the oil terminals at Fos and Lavéra. With a capacity of close to 9 million m3, Géosel’s underground liquid hydrocarbon storage facility is one of the largest of its kind in Europe. It represents about 20% of France’s total hydrocarbon storage capacity and is primarily used to store around 40% of the country’s strategic oil reserves.
Total, which currently owns a 53.4% stake in Géosel, will remain a minority shareholder with an interest of 3.4% and will continue to use Géosel’s infrastructure, mainly to ensure logistics for its industrial facilities in southern France.
“The sale of this infrastructure asset is part of our programem to sell US$10 billion in assets by 2017 and reflects Total’s active portfolio management strategy,” commented Patrick de La Chevardière, Chief Financial Officer of Total.
The guarantees and strengths offered by the EDF Invest-Ardian consortium, for which this investment is a long term commitment, make it a suitable majority shareholder in Géosel.
Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling