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Total closes SunPower deal: Big oil goes solar

Total closes SunPower deal: Big oil goes solar

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Oil and gas giant Total has completed its cash-tender offer to own 60 percent of solar power system player SunPower.

Oil and gas giant Total said Wednesday that it has completed its cash-tender offer to own 60 percent of solar power system player SunPower.

Total paid $23.25 a share, or $1.3 billion, for its stake. AS noted previously, Total's plan revolves around taking oil money and funding solar projects via SunPower. Total's relationships abroad with key power providers and governments will also give SunPower some key connections. European regulators gave the Total investment the go-ahead last week.

In a statement, Philippe Boisseau, president of Total Gas & Power, said "the marketplace requires global integrated industrial players that are financially stable and committed to advancing cutting-edge technology."

SunPower CEO Tom Werner said the Total investment will bolster the company's research and development efforts.

The most notable piece of the Total-SunPower deal is a guaranteed credit line that will lower the cost of investing in solar projects upfront. That credit line will be critical as it appears that the solar industry is entering a rough patch as subsidies are cut in Europe.

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Larry Dignan

Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-Chief Larry Dignan is editor-in-chief of SmartPlanet and ZDNet. He is also editorial director of TechRepublic. Previously, he was an editor at eWeek, Baseline and CNET News. He has written for WallStreetWeek.com, Inter@ctive Week, New York Times and Financial Planning. He holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Delaware. He is based in New York but resides in Pennsylvania. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure