The French mineral oil group wants to sell its entire service station network in Germany and the Netherlands to the Canadian company Couche-Tard. The reason is allegedly the planned phasing out of internal combustion engines in Europe. In countries where TotalEnergies is not the market leader, the company wants to focus on hydrogen and charging stations.
In Germany, the company is talking about 1,198 filling stations, and in the Netherlands, 392 sites, according to the statement. “In both countries, TotalEnergies does not occupy a market-leading position, so the expertise of a convenience store specialist is essential. TotalEnergies intends to focus on the development of the new forms of mobility (electricity and hydrogen) in both markets,” the letter said.
TotalEnergies and Couche-Tard want to set up a joint venture for the filling stations in Belgium and Luxembourg – a total of 619 filling stations are involved here. However, the Canadians are to hold the majority with 60 percent and thus have the say. The TotalEnergies brand name is not to disappear from service stations in the four countries for the time being: For at least five years, the French will continue to supply the four service station networks with fuels, and they will also operate under the brand for that long.
The planned transaction, which is based on an enterprise value of €3.1 billion (equivalent to 15 years of net cash flow after taxes), includes the service station networks and the fuel card business for business customers. TotalEnergies retains the charging stations outside the service stations (charging hubs), hydrogen distribution, wholesale fuels and the AS24 service station network for trucks.
As mentioned, the background is the planned phasing out of internal combustion engines in the EU from 2035. “These far-reaching decisions prompted TotalEnergies to make decisions regarding its fueling station networks in Europe, which are experiencing revenue losses due to declining fuel sales. One of the reasons for this is that electric cars are more likely to be charged at home or at work, not at charging stations at service stations,” the company writes. Since 2015, TotalEnergies has divested its gas station networks in Italy, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
In the power sector, the company plans to accelerate the expansion of charging stations on major arteries and in major cities in Europe, but specific expansion targets are not currently mentioned. According to earlier statements, 150,000 charging points are planned by 2025. In Germany, TotalEnergies had established its own charging infrastructure subsidiary in October 2022. In the hydrogen sector, the company is building a European hydrogen network for trucks together with Air Liquide.