Kenolkobil, BP Mend Fences


The stalemate obstructing the return of Castrol brand to the Kenya lubricants market has been resolved by an exclusive distribution deal between KenolKobil and British Petroleum South Africa.

KenolKobil was the original distributor of Castrol brand of lubricants in the Kenya market until Burmah-Castrol was acquired by British Petroleum in 2000 for 3 billion British pounds (U.S. $4.6 billion today).

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In 2007 British Petroleum, which by then had changed its name to BP, exited the Kenyan market, in the process divesting some local assets to Royal Dutch Shells Kenyan subsidiary. BP tried to transfer its lubricant distributorship to Shell Kenya, but KenolKobil sought court injunction to stop the transfer.

Two years ago BP tried to return to the Kenyan market in 2013 through another distributor, but KenolKobil again objected, saying such action amounted to a breach of court order that confers on it the right to distribute Castrol brand of lubricants on the Kenyan market.

Stan Dewing, lubricant manager in Africa, for British Petroleum South Africa, told Lube Report that Castrol will not comment on the past issues but that the signing of the new deal points to a new beginning for both firms.

This also marks the return of the Castrol brand of Lubricants to the Kenyan market, Dewing said.

According to a press statement signed by KenolKobil Group Managing Director, David Ohana, the deal signed May 19, covers the Kenyan market and looks towards local blending of Castrol products, upon which Kenya will become one of the countries in Africa to blend the products.

This partnership with BPSA is of great benefit to the Kenyan market as it gives consumers access to a brand that has built a formidable track record based on quality and innovation, with strong partnership with global and continental original equipment manufacturers in automotive, commercial and industrial sectors such as Toyota, VW, Ford, Nissan and Volvo, Ohana said. It also brings home advanced customer support and knowledge transfer through user training and engagement in the field of lubricants technology.

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Africa    Distributors    Logistics & Distribution    Region