KenolKobil Raises Stake in Blender


Kenyas KenolKobil announced Monday it acquired from Chevron 10.5 percent of the shareholding of Lublend Ltd., a lubricants blending company in Ndola, Zambia. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The addition increased KenolKobils stake at Lublend to 25.5 percent; it initially acquired 15 percent from Total Zambia Ltd. in 2008. It will also give KenolKobil Group more control of the plants management, and give it more representation on Lublends board.

Nairobi, Kenya-based KenolKobil said the purchase is in line with its diversification strategy. Specifically, the move will strengthen the companys market share in the robust lubricants business in Zambia, the company stated. KenolKobils retail network in Zambia has grown by more than 12 stations to more than 25 within the last two years.

KenolKobil said that since its 2008 acquisition and the start of blending at the plant in Ndola, its subsidiary Kobil Zambia has boosted its lubricants business by 47 percent, with increased supplies to all sectors, including mining, industrial, transport and construction, and in its retail network.

Mining is a Zambian sector that KenilKobil seeks to penetrate. It is traditionally dominated by multinational oil companies with parent companies in the United States or Europe. With the additional acquisition, Kobil Zambia said it plans to intensify its reach into the mining sector within Zambias Copper Belt Region, and also look beyond the Zambian borders to the export markets of Democratic Republic of Congo (Lumbumbashi area), Zimbabwe and Malawi.

KenolKobil markets lubricants, fuels and car care products in Kenya and through subsidiaries in other nations, including Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, Rwanda and Ethiopia. It also exports lubricants and white products to Burundi. In August 2009, the company purchased Oil Burundi S.A., the largest lubricant distributor in Burundi.

In September 2008, Chevron outlined plans to sell downstream businesses in several African countries to an African consortium. The company said the sales of marketing businesses in Africa were part of an effort to shrink the companys marketing footprint to better align with its refining operations.

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