Estonian petrol station chain Olerex has purchased all of Russian-owned Lukoil's Estonian locations, becoming the nation's largest petrol station operator.
The deal was approved by the Competition Authority in July and as of the beginning of August, all 37 Lukoil serving stations belong to Olerex.
“We planned to invest 25 million euros into service station construction in five years and bring the number of stations up to 70, but due to the purchase of Lukoil Estonia shares, Olerex can from this month serve its clients in 87 petrol stations, meaning the goal that was set a year ago, has been achieved a little faster than initially planned,” Olerex CEO Piret Miller said.
She said 70 stations is the minimum a company needs in Estonia to cover the entire country and offer a mass effect.
Not all of Lukoil's service stations will remain open, with Olerex planning to shut down four in the first phase.
Experts say the deal will have no impact on fuel prices. Competition in Estonia is very tense and there is little room to play with petrol and diesel prices. “I doubt the merger of two companies will change prices much in Estonia, but it will not make competition less lenient,” Toomas Saks, the head of the Estonian Oil Association, said.
Miller said she doubts the Estonian market could welcome new competition as there is just so little room left.
Lukoil's trademark will continue to be used during a 12-month transition period. Alexela has 62 petrol stations, Statoil has 53 and Neste 52 stations.
Editor: J.M. Laats