Employees of oil marketer Engen Kenya Limited have gone to court seeking to block the company’s buyout by the parent of its rival Vivo Energy Kenya, fearing job losses from the merger of the two local petroleum dealers.
The pending transaction is part of a larger deal involving the oil marketer’s parent companies. UK-based Vivo Energy Plc made an all-stock deal to acquire 10 African operations of Engen Holdings including the Kenyan subsidiary.
“In addition, on May 2, 2018 the company became aware that some employees of Engen Kenya Limited (with 18 service stations in Kenya of the 307 stations in the Engen portfolio) had filed a claim seeking among other things an injunction against the transfer of Engen Kenya Limited to the group,” Vivo Energy Plc said in a regulatory filing.
Vivo and Engen are taking legal advice and intend to contest the claim or seek an amicable outcome with the employees in question, the multinational said, adding that the two parties will continue to work to resolve the issues prior to the completion of the transaction. “If the company is unable to resolve them to its satisfaction it may, among other things, look to exercise its rights and remedies under the share sale and purchase agreement, which, depending on the circumstances, could include exercising its right to terminate the share sale and purchase agreement,” Vivo said.
If the deal is completed, Engen service stations in Kenya will be rebranded to Shell in accordance with Vivo’s Shell licence.