The recent fuel shortage in the country has raised so many concerns about the oil & petroleum management systems in the country. Hiked prices and long queues due to fuel shortages have left many Kenyans suffering.
Rubis Energy is one of the fasted growing companies in the oil sector in East Africa. In a span of less than five years since entering the market that was dominated by Total Kenya Limited and Vivo Energy Kenya, Rubis is now the leading.
Rubis Energy’s ownership was brought into question last week following the acute fuel shortage experienced in the country. This was after Deputy President William Ruto claimed that a number of powerful individuals in the country have interests in the petroleum sector thus creating an artificial shortage.
It has been said severally that the Kenyatta family owns the company, however, it’s not confirmed.
This narrative has raised concerns among Kenyans who have posed hard questions to the head of state since he comes from the famous Kenyatta family.
Entrance Into Kenyan Market
After conducting market research, Rubis Energy first joined the Kenyan market in late 2018.
The growth of the oil market in East and Central Africa prompted the company’s decision to join the country’s market was based on.
Rubis first acquired Kenol Kobil Plc in March 2019 securing a major percentage of the shares enabling it to take 100% control of the company. Rubis bought 1,182,968,076 shares amounting to Ksh38.3 billion, that is, at 23 shillings per share. This is according to a statement released by the Competition Authority of Kenya.
Following the acquisition, Rubis took charge of over 400 fuel stations and billion-dollar assets spread out in Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Zambia.
Having achieved that, It didn’t stop there.
In December of the same year, Rubis acquired Gulf energy at a total cost of Ksh16.4 billion as reported by business daily Africa.
The two deals propelled the company to become the top retailer with over 236 fuel stations surpassing Total Kenya-which has 150 fuel stations and Vivo Energy Kenya with over 200 stations.
Rubis has invested billions of shillings to build new filling stations and rebrand the ones formerly owned by KenolKobil and Gulf Energy.
French billionaire Gilles Gobin founded Rubis Investment and Cie as a private limited company on 13th May 1990 as reported by Wikipedia.
It started its operation as a storage company before merging with an investment company known as Penhoet to form Rubis in June 1992.
In April 1993, it acquired the hydrocarbons and chemical storage company, Compagnie Parisienne des Asphaltes (CPA), which was one of the leading operators in the French market.
In October 2005, Rubis purchased SAGF Company which is Shell’s distributor of LPG and petroleum products in the West Indies and French Guiana. It parted with €116 million to secure the deal.
Over the next year, Rubis kept acquiring other Shell’s operations in Europe, America, and Africa.
Without stopping, Rubis continued acquiring major companies in the oil sector such as BP Frangaz in France, Chevron in the Caribbean, Shell in Jamaica and Delta Petrol in Turkey.
Who Owns Rubis (Shareholders)
Information from the company’s website indicates that the company is owned by a number of shareholders both international and local.
As of 2020, 85.74 % of Rubis was owned by investors in a free float, Supervisory board (0.13 %) General Partner managers (2.21%), Marcel Dessault (5.45%), Wellington Management Group LLP (5.08%), Rubis Avenir mutual fund (1.32%), and Treasury shares (0.06%).
However, the shareholding structure has since changed following the company’s entry into Africa. According to Market Screener, Marcel Dessault has since increased its ownership in the company, reducing the free float ownership.