Cosan Acquisition Targets Europe


Brazils Cosan announced last week it is acquiring U.K.-based Comma Oil and Chemicals Ltd., staking a foothold in the European lubricants and specialties market.

Details of the transaction were not disclosed but a company statement said the value of the purchase will not exceed $100 million.

Cosan, a producer of sugar and ethanol products since 1936, has expanded through acquisitions beginning in 2008 to become a distributor of fuels and lubricants. Comma, located in Kent, England, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Esso Petroleum Co., produces lubricants, seasonal and car care products for the U.K. as well as exporting products throughout Europe and Asia.

A Cosan company spokesperson told Lube Report that it sees several opportunities to develop the lubricants business in the European market after the transition process is completed. The spokesperson also confirmed that Comma will continue to manufacture and sell its Comma-branded and private-label lubricants products. Further, the agreement allows Comma to continue to distribute Mobil-branded lubricants into specific U.K. channels, and to continue to manufacture and supply ExxonMobil companies with a range of seasonal and ancillary automotive products, such as antifreeze, coolants, deicers, brake fluids, greases and car cleaning products, according to the spokesman.

In the coming years, one of Cosans strategic objectives is to diversify and expand internationally, said Cosan Executive Director Nelson Gomes. Under Cosans management, Comma will continue to offer automotive customers in the U.K. and export markets a wide range of first-class lubricants, seasonal and car-care products.

The acquisition of Comma should increase Cosans lubricants business revenues by 15 to 20 percent, according to the Cosan spokesperson.

Cosan moved into the lubricants business in 2008 when it established Cosan Lubrificantes e Especialidades after acquiring the production assets and brand right for Mobil in Brazil from ExxonMobil. In 2011, the company assumed the distribution of base oil from ExxonMobil in Brazil, and that same year purchased ExxonMobils lubricant distribution business in Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay. In addition, the company formed a partnership with Shell to form Raizen, a joint venture that is Brazils largest sugar and ethanol producer and one of the countys largest fuel distributors.