SunPower sells commercial and industrial business to biggest investor, TotalEnergies

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Construction workers install SunPower tiles on homes in San Ramon, Calif.
Robert Nickelsberg | Getty Images

TotalEnergies is buying SunPower‘s commercial and industrial business, the two companies announced Wednesday evening.

The $250 million deal includes $190 million cash up front, plus another $60 million to be paid if an extension to the solar investment tax credit is passed, a company spokesperson said. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter.

TotalEnergies is SunPower’s majority owner, holding a 50.8% stake in the company.

The move comes after SunPower announced a restructuring in October aimed at doubling down on the residential solar market, which the company said is larger, more profitable, and growing faster. The company said it planned to offload its commercial and industrial business as part of that restructuring.

“The sale enables SunPower to focus on creating a superior residential experience, increase our investment in product and digital innovation, and reach more homeowners,” SunPower CEO Peter Faricy said in a statement.

France-based TotalEnergies said the deal allows it to expand its renewable energy footprint in the U.S.

SunPower’s Faricy said in October, when the restructuring was announced, that the commercial and industrial unit had generated interest from potential buyers, although he did not give any names.

In November Faricy again said that the business had attracted buyers, and said the company would provide an update on a potential buyer by the end of the December quarter.

“The business is very healthy,” Faricy told CNBC in November following the company’s third-quarter earnings, “despite the fact that it’s had a couple of challenging quarters, mostly due to project slips tied to all the same supply chain and labor issues.”

Shares of SunPower gained 6% on Wednesday after strong earnings from solar company Enphase Energy boosted the solar sector broadly. But shares are down nearly 18% for 2022 through Wednesday’s close, and have declined 65% over the last year.

Plans for a streamlined, residential-focused business come after the company spun out photovoltaic module maker Maxeon Solar in August 2020.

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