Shell acquires rival BP in Kenya
Shell Petroleum Company, a subsidiary of the Royal Dutch Shell plc,
yesterday announced the acquisition of 50 percent shareholding in British
Petroleum (BP) Africa, in a deal which would give it a larger share of the
Shell Kenya Managing Director Patrick Obath said the buyout was given
a conditional approval by the Kenyan regulatory authorities, but declined to
disclose how much was agreed on for the purchase deal.
Shell and BP have been
running a joint venture partnership and have shared assets on the downstream
activities of the profitable oil marketing industry. The two companies are joint
owners of the Kenya Petroleum Refineries.
"This approval marks the beginning
of a new and exciting chapter for Shell in Kenya. For the first time in many
decades, the Joint Venture (JV) companies will operate under the brand of
Shell," said Obath, who also chairs the company's board in Kenya.
announced its decision to bail out of the Kenyan market in mid-2005, citing low
returns on the sale and distribution of oil products in Kenya and opened tenders
to interested bidders in London. The negotiations lasted for more than a
BP has been operating as a Joint Venture Partner of Shell but it has
always stood as a dominant market player. Shell previously owned 50 percent
stake in BP.
The purchase agreement does not affect the employees of BP, who
have been operating in the same premises as those used by the rival
"Our priority is to work with the government, staff and the Joint
Venture Partners to ensure a smooth transition," Obath told a news conference in
Kenyan law guards against any acquisitions that may make any player
dominant enough to dictate commodity prices. The monopoly laws in Kenya do not
accept a single player to control 50 percent market share.