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Rubis snaps up Gulf in expansion spree

By Wainaina Wambu | November 6th 2019
A Gulf Energy outlet on Jogoo Road in Nairobi. The firm is the fourth largest oil marketer in the country with a 20 per cent market share. [David Njaaga, Standard]

French oil giant Rubis Energie is set to increase its share of the retail oil marketing business after it inked a deal to acquire Gulf Energy Holdings Ltd.

The acquisition comes hot on the heels of another deal that saw Rubis acquire KenolKobil for Sh36 billion in March, giving it a firm footing in the region.

Rubis on Monday signed a share purchase agreement that will see it take over oil marketing assets and businesses of Gulf Energy, which is placed as the number four oil marketing company in the country with a 20 per cent market share.

The three largest oil marketers in the country are KenolKobil, Shell and Total, with a combined market share of over 50 per cent. “Today (November 4), Rubis signed a share purchase agreement for the acquisition of Gulf Energy Holdings Ltd (GEHL), a special purpose company housing part of the oil marketing assets and businesses of Gulf Energy Ltd,” said Rubis in a statement.

Gulf Energy generated a turnover of $320 million (Sh33 billion) last year, according to the statement by Rubis.

It has 46 petrol stations and is in all the market segments, including retail of fuel, aviation fuels, cooking gas and lubricants.

The company also has contracts with power plants and large industrial consumers.

Rubis described the Kenyan market as “fast-growing”, especially on energy demands.

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“Higher volumes in this market would allow, in time, to generate significant economies of scale,” said the firm.

The acquisition is, however, yet to be approved by the relevant regulatory and competition authorities.

“This acquisition, of which the final completion is subject to the prior approval of the Kenyan regulatory and competition authorities, fits perfectly with Rubis’ investment objectives and criteria and would increase ideally Rubis’ presence in an area where the group sees strong growth in terms of energy demand,” said Rubis.

The French firm offered owners of KenolKobil Sh23 per share, a premium rate considered it was trading at Sh18 at the time.

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