Fri | Mar 22, 2019

Total poised to become largest network with Epping acquisition

Published:Friday | February 15, 2019 | 12:23 AM
An Epping gas station located at Slipe Road, Kingston, one of a network of 17 that Total Jamaica is acquiring.

Total Jamaica Limited appears poised to take the top spot in the local petrol market, at least in terms of the number of stations that it operates, with the announced agreement to acquire rival Epping.

The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, nor the closing date for the transaction. Total said the deal with the Marsh family was “private”.

The French company currently operates 57 stations, and is acquiring 17 more with the purchase of Epping Oil Company Limited and Epping Retail Limited.

That network of 74 now appears to eclipse that of GB Energy/Texaco, which last year was reported as having a network of 70 stations that generate annual sales of about US$300 million. Total Jamaica’s revenue is unknown.

The French company first entered Jamaica about 15 years ago, when it snapped up the National gas station network owned by Roy D’Cambre, a deal that was said at the time to give Total around a 10 per cent share of the market. Total later upsized its operations with the acquisition of Esso stations.

GB Energy acquired the Texaco operations in Jamaica from the American multinational Chevron Corporation in 2012. The other top marketing company, Rubis Energy Jamaica, took control of Shell’s assets in 2013.

Founded in 1992, Epping is a family-owned business – managed by Neville Marsh – that operates a network of service stations and a transportation business.

Isabelle Gaildraud, senior vice-president, Americas, at Total Marketing & Services, was quoted in the release as saying that the acquisition is in line with the company’s strategy of “maintaining a strong presence in the Caribbean, and, in particular, in growing markets such as Jamaica”.

Efforts at comment on whether Total plans to rebrand Epping were unsuccessful.

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com