KenolKobil set to acquire Samfuel Limited in its expansion strategy

ZAMBIA – KenolKobil, a pan African downstream oil company, has got the nod to acquire a Zambian oil marketer Samfuel Limited through its Zambian subsidiary, Kobil Zambia Limited, marking the second deal in under three months after it was last year bought by French multinational, Rubis Energie.

Samfuel is a private limited liability company with operations in Zambia alone. Its core business is storage, distribution and supply of petroleum products, lubricants, bitumen and chemicals.

According to Business Daily, the acquisition will see Kenol Zambia acquire 10 petroleum retail outlets owned by Samfuel Limited, deepening its presence in the landlocked country of southern Africa.

Comesa Competition Commission endorsed the decision by the Committee Responsible for Initial Determination (CID) that said the deal will increase market share of Kenol Zambia without hurting competition in the market.

“The CID determined that the merger is not likely to substantially lessen or prevent competition in the Common Market or any substantial part of it. His decision is adopted,” said the commission.

KenolKobil’s head office is in Kenya and also has subsidiaries in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia. It was not immediately clear what it will pay for Samfuel.

Its financial muscles were strengthened in 2019 after it was wholly acquired by Rubis, a French multinational with annual revenues of KSh596.7 billion (US$5.96 billion). The deal was valued at KSh36 billion (US$360 million).

Rubis then followed it up with acquisition of Gulf Energy Holdings Limited Kenya at a cost of KSh9.72 billion (US$97 million). Gulf is now part of KenolKobil.

The acquisition of Gulf pushed KenoKobil top in market share in Kenya at 18.7 percent from 14.1 percent, solidifying the French major’s control locally.

Rubis recently said its foray into the East African fuel product distribution market through the two deals have given it “a leading position in a zone that is set for strong growth” by way of further acquisitions.

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