French firm Bolloré to invest Sh2bn in Nairobi logistics hub

Jason Reynard (right), the Bolloré Transport & Logistics CEO, East Africa Region, at a past function in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE

Paris-headquartered Bolloré Group is set to merge its logistics business into one global entity in a move that will see it change its brand name in Kenya for the second time in four years.

Under the changes, which take effect from July 1, the firm also plans to invest Sh2.2 billion (€20 million) to create a new logistics hub in Nairobi as part of its expansion effort.

“As part of this global realignment, our company in Kenya will legally change its name from Bolloré Africa Logistics Kenya Limited to Bolloré Transport & Logistics Kenya Limited. We will use this name in all administrative matters relating to the Kenyan company,” Jason Reynard, Bolloré Transport & Logistics CEO East Africa Region, said.

The French firm, which initially launched its operations in Kenya as SDV Transami, shocked the market when it abruptly dropped the established brand for its parent company’s name in November 2012.

All the transport and logistics businesses of the Bolloré Group are now being brought together under a single global brand, Bolloré Transport & Logistics.

Brands like Bolloré Africa Logistics, SDV Transami, SAGA, BLP, and Bolloré Energy are now part of a single legal entity.

“The rebranding is aimed at ensuring that we work together without differences based on country, division or functions. We are anticipating client needs and developing management and operational tools adapted to SMEs and industrial companies, whether they are in Tokyo, Houston or Nairobi linking our Kenyan businesses to the world,” Mr Reynard said.

The Kenyan franchise will not see a change in share-holding but a more global market exposure.

Firm won a contract

“Currently we run the MCT inland container freight station which has been operational for 12 years and the East African Commercial & Shipping and Socopao, where our agencies represent many shipping lines that call at Mombasa port,” Mr Reynard said.

The business realignment may also open up opportunities for their franchises in railway and energy sectors where the firm buys petroleum products from international traders and distributes them.

“Bolloré Railways is not yet active in Kenya but we are following closely the SGR (standard gauge railway) developments,” he said.

The French firm won a contract to transport 365 wind turbines for Vestas Wind Systems from Mombasa port to the project site in Loyangalani District, Marsabit West County, a distance of 1,220km.

Mr Reynard said they invest over Sh200 million in the growth of the Kenyan business annually and Sh68.8 billion globally.

“With such realignments we are uniting our strength and expertise to create new impetus and take the global group from a top 10 player to a top five player in the global logistics arena by the year 2025,” he said.

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