The Competition Authority of Kenya has approved the merger between KenolKobil and Gulf Energy with tough conditions.
Among the conditions include a freeze on the sacking of employees and retention of current pay structure and remuneration.
KenolKobil, which is owned by French multinational Rubis Energie announced the takeover in November last year.
The acquisition of Gulf Energy Holdings gives the French conglomerate the largest market share in Kenya of 21.2 percent, overtaking another French oil giant Total Kenya and Vivo Energy Kenya which had market shares of 16.4 percent and 16.2 percent respectively.
This gives the French an unassailable lead in the country’s up and downstream oil business.
The fourth-largest oil marketer in Kenya is Ola (formerly Oil Libya) with a share of 5.4 per cent, while the State-run National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK) comes in at number five with a dismal 3.3 per cent market share.
A statement from the Competition Authority of Kenya noted that the merger between KenolKobil and Gulf Energy will not lead to unfair market dominance.
While approving the proposed merger, CAK directed that the merged entity should not retrench any of the 102 employees or change the terms of employment for the workers.
CAK has also conditioned that the merged entity ensures that all deals and terms signed between Gulf Energy and SMEs be maintained for at least 24 months.
The merged entity is required to file reports about its operations for at least two years. In December last year, Rubis Energie announced the takeover deal, though it did not disclose the size of the deal.
Statistics from the Petroleum Institute indicates Gulf Energy has a market share of 5.8 percent in the country.
The firm also owns fuel depots in Mombasa and Nairobi as well as a Liquefied Petroleum gas filling plant and a lubricants unit.