HAITIAN COMPANY ACQUIRES TEXACO
(Jamaica Gleaner) - By Steven Jackson, Business Reporter
Haiti-based GB Group announced Monday that it acquired Chevron Corporation's assets in Jamaica and two other Caribbean countries for an undisclosed sum.
The deal sees century-old GB Group acquiring the distribution and sales of petroleum products in Jamaica, Dominican Republic and St Maarten from Chevron Caribbean, which owns the Texaco gas brand.
"The company also completed the sale of certain other fuels-marketing and aviation businesses in the Caribbean and South America in the third quarter 2011," stated Chevron chairman and CEO John Watson in its just-released financials.
The financials stated no additional information on the asset sale. The deal for sale of Eastern Caribbean and Central American assets was struck last year November with Vitogaz SA, a wholly owned subsidiary of RUBIS Group.
That transaction, which RUBIS called a US$300-million takeover, covered 174 service stations plus an equity stake in an associated refinery, fuel terminal and aviation facility, and a commercial and industrial fuels business.
Chairman of the GB Group, Gilbert Bigio, said the acquisition would further expand the revenue stream of the business.
"This transaction is part of our ongoing efforts to constantly search for new opportunities to expand our downstream fuel business in the Caribbean, keeping our focus to satisfy the needs of our customers in the markets where we operate," he said in a press release.
Texaco currently has a network of 62 gas stations, according to 2011 telephone listings.
However, most of the locally branded Texaco stations are owned by entrepreneurs. The local component of the deal would therefore mainly entail fuel distribution.
Texaco Jamaica previously sold off its lubricants distribution business to Guatemalan company Lucalza, which took possession of the operation in November 2010.
Several attempts to contact David Sterling, head of Chevron Jamaica, proved futile up to press time; calls to GB Group were not returned.
The GB Group started over a century ago, operating mainly in Haiti with offices in Dominican Republic and the US, according to its website. Its operations span various sectors, including agriculture, construction, consumer goods, energy, environment, infrastructure, telecoms, trading, and transportation. The group has more than 2,000 employees.
Chevon Texaco's sell-off of its Caribbean businesses is aimed at reinvesting in faster growth markets which could include Latin America and Asia, the company said last year. Its phased move out of the Caribbean market followed that of Dutch-owned Shell and American Exxon-Mobil's Esso over the past six years.
The RUBIS-Vitogaz deal included assets in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Dominica, St Lucia, St Vincent, Guyana, St Kitts, French Guiana, Martinique, Guade-loupe, Trinidad, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Belize.
The American oil giant sold its distribution operation in Haiti last year.
Chevron is one of the world's leading integrated energy companies, whose roots trace back to 1879. Its name changed from Standard Oil on acquisition of Gulf Oil Corp in 1984. Chevron later merged with the Texas Fuel Company, in 2001, which became known as The Texas Company, Texaco.