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State-Owned Čepro Acquires Robin Oil Gas Station Network; Antimonopoly Authority to Evaluate Merger

The state-owned company Čepro, operating the EuroOil gas station network, is acquiring the competing Robin Oil network from entrepreneur Jiří Zoubek. The proposed merger is currently under assessment by the Office for the Protection of Economic Competition (ÚOHS).

"The proposed merger of competitors is expected to take place primarily in the areas of retail sale of fuels and additional goods at gas stations and wholesale fuel sales in the Czech Republic. A decision on the matter has not yet been issued," stated the office in an announcement.

"We unfortunately cannot provide any information on cases that have not been concluded. Once possible, we will inform customers and the public about new developments," said Čepro spokesperson Marek Roll today. He added that the company aims to gradually expand its EuroOil gas station network, having opened five new stations this spring.

The Ministry of Finance stated that the decision to acquire Robin Oil was made by Čepro's management, and the ministry, being its sole owner, was consulted on the transaction. "Considering the behavior and development of the fuel market, we regard this acquisition, which means an expansion of the number of Čepro gas stations, as reasonable," the ministry noted.

Čepro is engaged in the transportation, storage, and sale of oil products, operating the EuroOil gas station network in the Czech Republic, which, according to the company's website, comprises 200 stations, ranking it third in the number of gas stations in the country and fourth in terms of fuel sales volume. It is state-owned, with the Ministry of Finance as its sole shareholder. According to the 2022 annual report published in the Collection of Deeds, Čepro had a turnover of 91 billion CZK and a post-tax profit of 1.6 billion CZK.

Robin Oil, owned by entrepreneur Jiří Zoubek, has been registered in the commercial register since 1994 and currently operates over seventy gas stations. According to financial statements published in the Collection of Deeds, the company had a turnover of 5.5 billion CZK and a net profit of 83 million CZK last year.

Both companies rank among the seven largest gas station owners in the country. The ÚOHS will assess whether their merger will impact economic competition in the fuel market. The office will either confirm within 30 days that the merger will not violate economic competition, approving the fusion, or continue the proceedings for up to five months, in which case it will set conditions for the merger. The merger will only become effective after the office's decision.

Source: E15

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