February 19 (Renewables Now) - French oil and gas giant Total SA (EPA:FP), which is the main shareholder of SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR), is actively increasing its ownership stake in the US solar power company.
A filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shows that Total has bought SunPower shares worth a total of USD 25.5 million (EUR 23.6m) between January 15 and February 3, 2020. A follow-up filing reveals that the French group also spent a further USD 5.75 million on SunPower stock on February 13 and 14.
Following the latest reported transaction, Total held about 82.2 million SunPower shares.
Total was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Renewables Now.
The investment comes after in November SunPower announced a plan to separate its international solar cell and panel manufacturing activities into a new company that will be headquartered in Singapore and listed on Nasdaq. At the time, the US company noted that existing shareholders will own a combined stake of 71.152% in the spun-off entity, to be known as Maxeon Solar Technologies. It further said that the plan had Total’s backing.
Patrick Pouyanne, the CEO of the French energy major, stated in November that the group planned to remain a shareholder of both SunPower and Maxeon Solar.
Earlier this month, SunPower reported a return to a GAAP net profit in the closing quarter of 2019 and in the full year, but guided for a negative result for the first quarter of 2020.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.925)