Ardian and EDF Invest have acquired Total’s majority stake in an oil storage company based in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence in France.
Total will retain a minority stake in Géosel, which has a storage capacity of almost nine million m3, and will continue to use the company’s infrastructure for its own needs.
Géosel owns a critical site for the management of the French national oil reserves. It operates underground storage caverns and related pipelines linked to the seaport of Fos, Marseille, and to the petrochemical facilities of Etand de Berre. The company has long-terms contracts with its main client, SAGESS, the French strategic oil reserves major.
Both Ardian and EDF Invest say in a statement that they aim to ensure the maintenance of the company’s operational excellence, which enjoys one of the most important and performing sites of the sector in Europe.
The statement says: ‘This investment reinforces Ardian’s position in the oil storage and transport sector, and highlights its will to build long term partnerships. It is also a new step in the growth and diversification strategy of EDF Invest, the leading French long term investor.’
The transaction is expected to be finalised by the end of 2015 and is still to be submitted to the approval of the other shareholders of the company.