Neste Oil subsidiary, Neste Markkinointi Oy, and Ruokakesko Oy signed an agreement today, under which Neste Markkinointi will sell its 50% stake in Pikoil Oy to Ruokakesko, the Kesko Food division of the Kesko Group. Founded in 2003 and jointly owned by Neste Oil and Ruokakesko up until now, Pikoil is a retailer of traffic fuels and grocery products.
Following the completion of the transaction, Neste Markkinointi will be responsible for the retail sale of traffic fuels from the pumps at stations managed by Pikoil, while Pikoil will handle the retailing of groceries, automotive accessories, and car wash services, together with restaurant operations. The land and buildings at Neste stations will remain the property of Neste Markkinointi Oy. Completion of the agreement will require the approval of the Finnish Competition Authority and will be dependent on various pre-agreed contractual terms being met.
Pikoil's business is based around K-pikkolo shops, Neste Motorest service stations, and Neste K-pikkolo outlets. Operations encompass over 130 locations and employ some 1,400 people. The sale of Neste Oil's holding in the business is not expected to have any significant impact on personnel.
The transaction will not affect operations at dealer-owned Neste stations, or Neste's unmanned D, A24, and NeX stations. There are over 250 dealer-owned Neste stations and other outlets as well as 320 D stations and 190 other unmanned Neste stations in Finland.
"Neste Markkinointi is an integral part of Neste Oil, one of Northern Europe's leading oil refining and marketing companies. As grocery retailing does not form part of Neste Oil's strategy, we have now decided to divest this part of our business to enable Neste Markkinointi to concentrate fully on our core petroleum product business," says Matti Peitso, Executive Vice President, Oil Retail and Managing Director of Neste Markkinointi Oy.
The agreement is also in line with Ruokakesko's strategy, which is aimed at strengthening the company's position on the retail motorist market. Cooperation will continue with Neste Markkinointi in the area of fuel distribution, as before. Under the agreement, Neste will also continue to be a partner in Kesko's customer loyalty program, and customers will continue to be able to pay for goods and services at Pikoil outlets using the various cards recognized by Neste outlets.
Pikoil currently has 63 service station-based outlets, providing food and fuel sales and car wash facilities, and 35 extended-service outlets featuring restaurant services as well. Pikoil also has 36 convenience store-type outlets in city centers and other locations.
Neste Oil Corporation
Senior Vice President, Communications
For further information, please contact:
Matti Peitso, Executive Vice President, Oil Retail, on +358 10 458 5419
Neste Oil Corporation is a leading independent Northern European oil refining and marketing company, with a focus on advanced, clean traffic fuels and lubricants. Neste Oil's refineries are located in Porvoo and Naantali, Finland, and have a total refining capacity of approx. 250,000 bbl/d. Net sales in 2004 totaled some EUR 7,900 million, and the company employs around 4,400 people. Neste Oil is listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange (symbol: NES1V). For further information, see www.nesteoil.com.