Cepsa buys Ballenoil, the 'giant' of 'low cost' gas stations, and exceeds 2,000 service stations

It will maintain the Ballenoil brand, as well as its business model and current structure.

Cepsa buys Ballenoil, the 'giant' of 'low cost' gas stations, and exceeds 2,000 service stations

It will maintain the Ballenoil brand, as well as its business model and current structure


Cepsa has reached an agreement to acquire the network of Ballenoil service stations, the market leader in so-called 'low cost' gas stations, which today has more than 220 establishments in Spain and a plan to reach 500. in 2027, the company reported, which did not specify the amount of the operation.

With this acquisition, subject to the approval of the competent authorities, the energy company controlled by Mubadala and Carlyle expands its service station business, thus exceeding 2,000 gas stations in the Iberian market - about 1,500 of them in Spain - and consolidates itself as the second operator in the national market, only behind Repsol, which has more than 3,300 points of sale.

In recent years, Cepsa had been increasing its network of service stations with small acquisitions, such as those of the IS-XXI company or those of the Villanueva, Mateo and Paz groups -consolidating its presence in specific areas-, but never in one operation like the one the size of Ballenoil. Likewise, two years ago it studied the entry of a financial partner with a minority stake for its service station business, although it finally ruled it out.

Cepsa indicated that it will maintain the Ballenoil brand, as well as its business model and current structure, to consolidate its position in the 'low cost' segment and offer the market a range of fuels with affordable prices that facilitate mobility in a context of high volatility. in the price of energy, higher inflation and strong growth in demand for the 'low cost' model.

In addition, according to the agreement, the Ballenoil station network will develop a growth plan to reach 500 stations in 2027. Likewise, the company led by Maarten Wetselaar aims to make Ballenoil the reference in terms of sustainability in the segment. low cost', for which it will progressively reinforce the offer of electric charging points and incorporate the sale of biofuels.

The Mobility Director

"We will continue, in parallel, transforming our network of premium stations, where customers will find different increasingly decarbonized energy solutions and complementary restaurant and ultra-convenience services. With this operation, Cepsa will reach 2,000 service stations in the Iberian market, where We will be able to serve different customer profiles," he added.

For its part, Ballenoil considered that this agreement represents support for its project and strengthens its future plan, promoting the growth of the network and the incorporation of new energies, in addition to guaranteeing the supply of fuel.

The automatic gas station company was founded in 2010 by David Querejeta - owner of the Ballena Azul company that was dedicated to car washing - and Juan Sanz and has about 350 employees.

This company is a clear example of the 'boom' experienced in recent years by the so-called 'low cost' gas stations, which have gone from the 3,886 gas stations they had in 2012 to reaching 5,941 at the end of 2022, after thus growing by almost 53 %.

Ballenoil is currently present throughout the Spanish peninsular territory with its business model, based on a 24-hour service, presence of station personnel during business hours and car wash service. It is especially present in Catalonia, the Valencian Community, Andalusia, Castilla La Mancha, Castilla y León, Extremadura, Madrid, Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Murcia and the Basque Country.

Meanwhile, Cepsa will maintain in parallel its premium model of service stations, where customers can enjoy a multi-energy and ultra-convenience offer, including additional restaurant, supermarket, package pick-up or parapharmacy services, and will continue to develop its loyalty program to provide greater discounts and advantages to its customers.

In the field of sustainable mobility, Cepsa is transforming its network of service stations into digitalized spaces that offer a wide variety of ultra-convenience and catering services, as well as multi-energy solutions for refueling on the road and, at the same time, alternatives for heavy land, sea and air transportation, through the development of green molecules, fundamentally second generation biofuels and green hydrogen.

Currently, it has built more than 130 ultra-fast charging points in its service stations, it is advancing in the development of another 330 and its goal in 2030 is to have this type of chargers in more than 1,000 in its network of stations.