NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 26 – Oil firm KenolKobil has entered into the Mozambique market with the registration of a company that will facilitate investment in the southern African country and act as a vehicle for arising opportunities in the future.
The firm’s Mergers and Acquisition and Regional Support Manager Patrick Kondo said the setting up of Kobil Mocambique Limited, will enhance their ability to extend their reach in the hinterland market of East, Central and Southern Africa.
Additionally, the new company will enable the group to be present in all countries with port facilities along the East Coast of Africa, except South Africa.
“Mozambique has one of the most strategically located ports on the East Coast of Africa through its three ports of Beira, Maputo, and Nacala. Through Mozambique and its ports, KenolKobil has plans to expand its trading business to provide supply to its customers in Zambia, Malawi, Eastern Congo and Zimbabwe and at the same time explore new trading markets including Swaziland and South Africa,” said Mr Kondo in a statement.
This brings to eight the number of subsidiaries that the Kenyan company has in Africa. The oil firm is also in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, DRC and Zambia, Burundi and Tanzania.
Its plans to enter the Zimbabwean market have however not gone as smoothly as it had expected as the (Zimbabwean) government through the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Fund blocked efforts to acquire the Shell & BP operation there.
The management is however still optimistic that they will continue to explore available options and eventually extend their services to that market.
“Though our acquisition in Zimbabwe did not materialise, during our engagements with the Government of Zimbabwe and the authorities in the BP/Shell deal, we learnt lessons on how to invest in Zimbabwe, and do now fully understand the requirement of the indigenisation law,” the manager added.
KenolKobil continues to harbour dreams of becoming a Pan-African company and the board approved a strong capital expenditure budget to grow its existing business and to invest in new countries to facilitate its expansion in the continent.
“Our expansion momentum will continue in our mergers and acquisition activities, and will include among others the acquisition of land (or Plot Banks) for stations development,” Mr Kondo added.