French company, Rubis, concludes KenolKobil takeover

Kobil outlet in Nairobi CBD./COURTESY

Nairobi, KENYA: French downstream fuel industry group, Rubis Energie, has successfully concluded its takeover of KenolKobil in a sh.36 billion transaction, making it the largest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) deal in recent years.

With payments to shareholders who accepted Rubis offer being processed, the French company now has a 97.6 percent stake in KenolKobil after receiving acceptance for shares.

Rubis has started the process to purchase the remaining 2.4 percent KenolKobil shares by way of compulsory acquisition as provided in the Companies Act, once that is done the French company will make an application to Capital Markets Authority to delist KenolKobil from the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).

KenolKobil has now appointed two new directors to its board; Rubis Energie Chief Executive Officer, Christian Cochet and Deputy Managing Director, Gilles Kauffeisen – both veteran experts in downstream oil and gas sector.

“This investment demonstrates our long-term commitment to the downstream fuel industry in Kenya and the East African region. We expect to grow KenolKobil’s business and continue to improve the offering to KenolKobil customers and employees. We are very excited about the prospects for the business,” Cochet said.

With the successful takeover of KenolKobil, Kenya becomes the 36th market in Africa, Europe and the Caribbean, where Rubis has operations. Rubis is listed on the Euronext Paris Stock Exchange.

As a subsidiary of Rubis, KenolKobil will adopt Rubis Group’s financial and operational policies, as well as global quality and service provision standards. It will also enjoy access to the group’s global experience and expertise in infrastructure, transport and supply service.

The Group Managing Director of KenolKobil, David Ohana, said this development will significantly boost the firm’s capacity in areas such as storage, new stations, equipment, retail offerings, IT, operations and human capital.

“Our intention is to provide robust competition within Kenya’s downstream fuel industry, improve profitability for the benefit of the entire value chain and the economy. While the downstream fuel industry is robust, further innovation, scale, systems and strong distribution networks will greatly benefit the region,” said Ohana.

The takeover coincides with French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to the country.

President Macron arrived in Kenya on Wednesday afternoon for talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta.