Cepsa buys Ballenoil’s 220 gas stations to compete against the ‘low cost’ ones

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Cepsa has dealt a blow to the energy board with the purchase of the Ballenoil gas station networkone of the main groups low cost that operate in Spain with more than 220 service stations. With this acquisition, the oil company led by Maarten Wetselaar increases its portfolio of gas stations to over 2,000 in the Iberian market.

The agreement reached by both companies includes maintaining the Ballenoil brand, as well as the business model low cost of the firm and its current structure. Through this strategy, the second largest Spanish oil company seeks to cover the growing demand for fuels at very affordable prices, a segment that it has not reached until now, as it forces the distributor to narrow margins above what giants like Repsol or Cepsa itself had assumed until now.

By maintaining Ballenoil, the company manages to fully enter this market, with good prospects given the horizon of rising crude oil prices. Ballenoil’s model is based on three pillars: agile and simple supply with 24-hour service, presence of staff during business hours and offering a car wash service. Ballenoil was a pioneer in this model that year after year has been gaining market share from the majors. In 2022, service stations in the hands of independent brands represented around 26% of the total in the Iberian market, its weight being 30% in Spain.

To fight these cheap fuel companies, the main leaders in the sector have resorted to differentiation, incorporating new services such as parcel collection, laundry or offers of fresh products and takeaway food. Cepsa wants to combine both models.

“With this agreement, the Ballenoil station network will develop a growth plan to achieve the 500 stations in 2027. Likewise, Cepsa aims to make Ballenoil the reference in terms of sustainability in the segment. low costfor which it will progressively reinforce the offer of electric charging points and will incorporate the sale of biofuels“, they detail from the group.

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