What to know about the SunPower merger with Sunoco
Gasolina Letra is closing an acquisition that would have given it a major foothold in the state of Florida.
The company announced on Wednesday that it is ending its partnership with SunPower, citing the “continuing uncertainties” in the oil and gas industry and the impact of Hurricane Irma.
Gasolina Letras parent company, SunPower Energy, announced it is exiting the SunCoast pipeline, which would have provided about 30% of its oil to the state.
“Our customers and employees, who have been the backbone of our business, are being impacted by the storms, the hurricanes and the devastating effects of the hurricane on Florida,” Gasolina said in a statement.
SunPower Energy had already been under scrutiny for its decision to purchase a majority stake in rival Sunoco, which is the parent company of SunPower.
The SunCoasts parent company is also in talks to buy Shell, a Shell affiliate, from Exxon Mobil Corp. According to the deal, SunCoAST would receive about 60% of Sunoco’s refining capacity.
However, a spokeswoman for SunPower told CNBC that it had no intention of exiting SunPower and had instead “completed our strategic review” of the transaction.
Despite that announcement, Gasolina continued to announce the merger.
In a statement, SunLetra said that it was “in the process of completing the strategic review and will continue to pursue strategic opportunities as needed.”
SunLetra also announced that it would buy a majority of its refining capacity from SunPower for $1.5 billion.
Additionally, it said that the deal would also include an oil and natural gas pipeline from the SunRiver project in South Carolina.
Earlier in the day, the Florida Chamber of Commerce announced it was joining with the National Association of Manufacturers in a coalition to urge the federal government to approve the deal.
A press release from the Chamber of Business said that “we commend SunLetras management for its continued commitment to protecting the environment, working collaboratively with our state and federal partners to ensure the safety of its employees, the environment and the American people.”
“It is critical that SunLetroas leadership be given the latitude to manage its business while protecting the health and safety of the American public,” the release said.
The announcement comes as Hurricane Irma makes landfall in the Sunshine State, bringing devastation to the region.
With Irma, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection are expected to have to reopen more than 4,000 beaches and waterways, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency has extended mandatory evacuations through the end of the week.
On Thursday, President Donald Trump also took to Twitter to announce that the storm had made landfall in Florida.