Total: business history
The oil company Total is the largest producer of raw materials in France, and holds a leading position in the world. Its business areas include exploration, production, refining and sales. In addition, Total is engaged in petrochemical production and energy. The company is among the top five supermajors on its market, competing with such giants as ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP and others.
After World War I mankind understood the importance of oil as a strategic asset. The French government, as well as other countries, decided to have their own resources, which will allow strengthening its position on the world stage. For this purpose, in 1924 the national oil company Compagnie Française des Pétroles or CFP was created. War reparations from the German bank Deutsche Bank enabled the newly formed institution to obtain a 25% interest in the Turkish Petroleum Company, which was engaged in the extraction of raw materials in Iraq. The fields here were France’s first access to oil. In spite of the fact that CFP was called national, in fact it was private and in 1929 its shares were presented on the Paris stock exchange. After World War II, the company began production in Africa, the Middle East, Algeria, and then acquired fields in Canada and Venezuela. In 1954 its gasoline appeared on the market in Europe under the Total brand. The fuel has enjoyed enormous popularity, and in 1985, as a result of rebranding the company was renamed to Total CFP, and 6 years later it completely abandoned the old name. By this time the French government owned only 1% of the shares of the producer. In 1999 Total acquired a company from Belgium, and a year later from France. This allowed significantly expanding the markets and strengthening the positions in Europe.
Now products of the corporation are presented in 130 countries, in 60 of them work 15 thousand branded filling stations, which daily serve more than 5 million customers. Total has a daily capacity of 2.5 million barrels of oil, and total crude reserves are estimated at 11 billion barrels of oil equivalent. The company’s assets are about 230 billion euros with a capitalization of 140 billion euros.
In addition to oil production facilities, Total owns chemical plants and facilities in a number of related industries.
Despite the fact that the company is considered French, only 28% of its shareholders are from that country, the remaining 31% – from North America, 49% from Europe. 89.6% of the company’s securities are in free circulation.