Reliance buys east African oil retailer

Reliance buys east African oil retailer

Mumbai, 4 September Reliance Industries said today it had bought a majority stake and management control of east African oil retailer Gulf Africa Petroleum Corp (GAPCO) for an undisclosed sum.

The company said in a statement that GAPCO was a strategic acquisition which would give it access to the rapidly growing economies of east Africa, where demand for petroleum products is rising.

“These markets are easily accessible from India and in that sense provide a strategic fit for exports from India," it said.

GAPCO owned and operated large storage terminalling facilities and a retail distribution network in countries including Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, Reliance said. It said GAPCO had more than 250 outlets catering to retail and industrial segments.

Reliance, India’s largest private company, operates a 660,000 bpd refinery in India. Reliance Petroleum, a subsidiary in which Chevron Corp holds 5%, is building a 580,000 bpd unit nearby.

Reliance Industries, which has a market capitalisation of $67 billion, was eyeing a 50% stake in Kenya’s sole refinery.

Shares in Reliance Industries ended 0.8% higher at Rs1,971.50 in a Mumbai market that rose 0.3%. REUTERS