French firm, Rubis Energie is involved in the distribution of petroleum products, liquid petroleum gas and bitumen across Europe, the Caribbean, and Africa.
The firm successfully concluded its takeover of KenolKobil in a Sh36 billion transaction in March 2019, making it the largest foreign direct investment deal in recent years; this is according to media reports.
With the successful takeover of KenolKobil, Kenya became the 36th market in Africa, Europe and the Caribbean, where Rubis has operations.
A few months after successfully acquiring KenolKobil, Rubis Energy signed a share purchase agreement, for the acquisition of Gulf Energy Holdings Limited (GEHL), making it one of the major oil distributors in Kenya, with a 20% market share, leaping over Total Kenya and Vivo Energy Kenya.
This acquisition was subject to the prior approval of the Kenyan regulatory and competition authorities.
On Wednesday, Rubis launched its operations in Kenya at the United Nations Avenue, Gigiri in Nairobi; with expectations to be a driving force in the development of Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in the country.
The Company has spent a total of Sh2.4 billion to rebrand the Kenyan fuel stations operated by its local subsidiaries KenolKobil and Gulf Energy.
The amount is expected to rise in the near term as the company aims to operate under the single Rubis brand by 2022 in a process that includes repainting and upgrade of equipment.
“The … expenditure on rebranding, station reconstruction and the refurbishment of distribution equipment in Kenya is in the amount of €19 million (Sh2.4 billion),” Rubis was quoted by Business Daily.
Rubis Kenya managing director Jean-Christian Bergeron told Business Daily that the cost of rebranding one outlet ranges between $30,000 (Sh3.2 million) and $80,000 (Sh8.6 million).
Besides rebranding the outlets acquired, Rubis will also build new service stations as it seeks to expand its market share.
Covid-19 pandemic severely reduced demand for petroleum products consequently affecting Rubi’s Kenyan operations.