Local oil dealer sells big stake to Omani firm

Muscat-based Oman Trading International (OTI) is set to acquire a 40 per cent stake in Kenyan oil marketer Hass Petroleum, marking the latest deal in the retail business.

Hass says transaction, whose value was not disclosed, will help the company expand in the region including by opening more service stations and participating in capital-intensive open tender bulk import contracts.

It is the first acquisition in Africa for OTI, a global commodities trading company fully owned by the government of Oman.

OTI will in particular provide technical expertise and financial backing to the Kenyan firm in an industry where scale is increasingly becoming important.

“I am convinced that this partnership is a major step in ensuring Hass’ continued competitiveness across the region and I am confident that with OTI we can achieve our mutual long-term growth aspirations,” Abdinasir Ali Hassan, chairman and founder of Hass, said in a statement.

The proposed transaction is subject to approval by regulatory authorities in the various countries in which Hass operates in.

The company has a market share of about two per in Kenya’s fuel retail market and also exports products to regional markets such as Uganda, Rwanda, and South Sudan. It on top deals in lubricants and liquefied petroleum gas.

“We are delighted to move onto the next phase of growth for OTI, agreeing our first major investment into Africa with Hass,” Talal Hamid Al-Awfi, OTI’s chief executive, said in the statement.

“Hass is a unique business with substantial scale and growth potential where we have enjoyed a long standing relationship; most importantly we share a common understanding and vision of the African energy market.” The multinational is the latest to make an acquisition in the industry after Tanzania’s Lake Oil took over the petroleum retail business of Kenya’s Hashi Energy.

The sale of fuel stations will leave Hashi with bulk petroleum distribution business in the local market including sale of fuel to airlines.

French oil firm Total Outre-Mer recently acquired Gulf African Petroleum Corporation, which prior to the deal was a competitor of its local subsidiary Total Kenya.

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