Total Makes $600 Million Bet on India Gas With Adani Stake

(Bloomberg) — French energy giant Total SA (PA:) is spending $600 million to expand its presence in one of the world’s fastest growing markets.

Total agreed to purchase a 37.4% stake in India’s Adani Gas Ltd., a distributor of the fuel that is developing import terminals and a national chain of vehicle-filling outlets. Total said in a statement that the acquisition will cost about $600 million taking into account its divestment in another Indian LNG terminal earlier this year.

The deal will give Total access to India’s natural gas market and support its drive to become one of the world’s top LNG players. India’s annual LNG demand will hit 28 million tons by 2023, making it the world’s fourth largest importer of the fuel, according to BloombergNEF.

“The natural gas market in India will have a strong growth and is an attractive outlet for the world’s second-largest LNG player that Total has become,” Total Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne said in the statement.

The acquisition is the latest in a string of Total investments meant to beef up its presence in LNG. The French giant agreed to take over the Mozambique LNG project earlier this year as part of a deal for Anadarko Petroleum Corp (NYSE:).’s assets in Africa. The company has also recently absorbed Engie SA’s upstream assets, boosted its investment in Tellurian Inc. and its U.S.-based Driftwood LNG venture, and is planning to sanction a new gas export project in Papua New Guinea.

Adani is developing the Mundra and Dhamra LNG import terminals in India. It plans to expand its distribution network in the next decade to about 6 million homes and 1,500 retail outlets for natural gas vehicles.

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Total will make the purchase through a tender offer to public shareholders for up to 25.2% and the residual shares from Adani family, Adani Gas said in a statement to stock exchanges. Times of India reported in June that Total was close to buying a 30% stake in Adani for over $800 million.

(Updates with details on India’s LNG market in fifth paragraph.)

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