The FINANCIAL — Wissol Petroleum Georgia, one of the largest gasoline distribution companies, has obtained the franchise license to develop EKO branded service stations in Georgia. An agreement has been signed between Wissol Group and Hellenic Petroleum, the largest energy Group in Greece.
The Wissol branded service station located in Tbilisi (at #27, Vazha-Pshavela Ave.) is being rebranded and will officially continue operations under the EKO brand name.
By entering the Georgian market in 1996 Hellenic Petroleum, the mother company of EKO, became one of the first foreign investors in Georgia. The company offered its customers high quality fuel from Greece and one of the best services in its petrol stations. Products sold by EKO Georgia were always more expensive than products offered by its rivals. The company had very few advertisements in the media but it was still hugely popular.
EKO Georgia was awarded by the ‘Oil Producers, Importers and Consumers Union’ as the best foreign oil company between 2005 and 2007. Out of all the large taxpaying oil companies, EKO Georgia took fifth place.
The company’s infrastructure included the company itself and 16 petrol stations; The company’s infrastructure included 16 (sixteen) company owned petrol stations, 1 rented station and fuel terminal in Tbilisi. It owned around 5% of the market.
“The return of the EKO brand to Georgia is only the first step towards cooperation with Wissol Group,” said Dimitrios Karabalis, Greece’s Ambassador to Georgia.
“Wissol was consciously chosen as the largest petrol chain in Georgia and the very good local partner.
“Wissol activity is not only visible in the fuel industry, but also in other sectors of the economy. Today we are seeing a new EKO petrol station, with EKO’s recently adopted new design,” Karabalis said at the opening ceremony.
“We are the most developed and industrial team in the South-Eastern part of Europe. Together with EKO we offer the highest quality products in the countries we operate in, and now the Georgian market again,” commented Roberto Karahannas, representative of Hellenic Petroleum.
“Although EKO has not operated in Georgia for several years, according to the results of the consumer base survey, it is still considered a measure of the best quality,” said Soso Pkhakadze, President of Wissol Group.
Wissol Group together with Hellenic Petroleum will promote the development of infrastructure in Georgia too. “We don’t only want the petrol stations, we want their different infrastructure and variety of consumer brands: stores, fast food restaurants, car services,” said Pkhakadze.
Per the agreement between the parties, based on the results of a pilot station that will be launched at #27 Vazha-Pshavela Avenue in Tbilisi, Wissol Group and Hellenic Petroleum will jointly make a decision on further expansion opportunities of EKO branded service stations in Georgia.