FRANKFURT (Reuters) – French oil group Total <TOTF.PA> is launching the sale of its resins business as it streamlines activities to free up cash to invest in renewable energy, people close to the matter said.
The company is working with Credit Suisse <CSGN.S> as its adviser for the sale of operations featuring the Cray Valley brand, they said, adding the unit could be valued at 500-600 million euros ($588-705 million), including debt, in a deal.
Total is expected to send out information packages on the unit in the coming weeks to prospective buyers, mainly private equity firms, the people said.
Total and Credit Suisse declined to comment.
Total said last week it was planning to hike annual investments in renewable energy and electricity by 50% and cut its reliance on oil, emulating European rivals in a bid to become a major low-carbon power producer.
Faced with gloomy long-term prospects for oil demand, Total has been accelerating a push into alternative sources of revenue, with a particular focus on providing electricity and expanding its renewable energy business.
Total, on track for $1 billion in savings this year, is focussing on cost cuts at its operations rather than layoffs.
Cray Valley makes speciality chemical additives, hydrocarbon speciality chemicals, and liquid and powder tackifying resins used as ingredients in adhesives, rubbers, polymers, coatings, and other materials.
The products are used in the energy, printing, packaging, construction, tyre manufacturing and electronics industries.
($1 = 0.8506 euros)
(Additional reporting by Benjamin Mallet; Editing by Mark Potter)