Engen, Vivo Energy to form Africa’s largest energy firm

Engen and Vivo Energy have combined their African businesses to create one of the continent’s largest energy distribution companies.

The combined group will have over 3,900 service stations and more than two billion litres of storage capacity across 27 African countries. Engen, said to be a market leader in South Africa, has around 1,300 service stations across seven African countries, while Vivo Energy is a major pan-African retailer and distributor of fuels and lubricants to retail and commercial customers, with over 2,600 service stations across 23 African countries, using the Engen and Shell brands. Both brands retail in Tanzania.

Petronas will sell its 74 percent shareholding in Engen to Vivo Energy at completion. The Phembani Group, Petronas’ long-standing partner in Africa and Engen’s B-BBEE shareholder, is continuing its strong association with Engen and will remain invested as a 21 percent shareholder in the South African business.

The transaction will further benefit employees of Engen through a newly implemented 5 percent employee share ownership programme, resulting in Engen South Africa being 26 percent owned by previously disadvantaged parties.

Stan Mittelman, Chief Executive Officer of Vivo Energy said: “Vivo Energy’s focus has been to invest to grow our business, and I am proud that we have more than doubled the size of our network since our formation in 2011. Four years ago, we acquired the Engen business in nine African markets, and have since worked to enhance and develop these..”

He added, “Vitol’s acquisition of 100 percent of Vivo Energy last year brings more opportunity to grow even faster. Completion of this transaction, which reunites the Engen brand across Africa, will be a step change in our growth and represents a significant commitment to the South African market whilst enhancing Vivo Energy’s portfolio in other important markets.”

Seelan Naidoo, Managing Director and CEO of Engen said: “This is an exciting opportunity for Engen to build on its market leading position in South Africa and a number of southern African countries. It allows us to leverage our strong brand equity, leading retail footprint, extensive supply chain capability and unrivalled customer service to be a leading contributor to Vivo Energy and Vitol’s ambition to build a stronger and more successful pan-African energy champion. Engen is excited to become part of the enlarged business and this will set up our business to be stronger and more successful than ever before.”

Phuthuma Nhleko, Chairman and Co-founder of Phembani Group said: “The Phembani Group is proud to have been a long-term shareholder in Engen since 1999, partnering with Petronas and helping to grow Engen into a valuable South African corporate citizen, meeting the needs of millions of ordinary South Africans. We are pleased to partner with Vivo Energy in the next phase of Engen’s growth. We are confident that together we will support Engen’s continued growth, enabling it to realise its vision.”

Chris Bake, Chair of Vivo Energy said: “Vivo Energy has been a success story since its inception. It has grown consistently, both organically and by investing in modern quality assets. It has a highly professional and capable management team with a deep understanding of Africa’s unique energy requirements. Engen is South Africa’s market-leader and this powerful combination will benefit customers in South Africa and across the continent.”

The transaction is currently pending regulatory approvals and fulfilment of conditions precedent.

Rand Merchant Bank (a division of FirstRand Bank Limited) and Standard Bank advised Vivo Energy. Morgan Stanley and Rothschild & Co are advisors to Petronas on this transaction.

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