EKO returns to Georgian market through Wissol deal

Greek fuel retailer EKO, controlled by ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum), has reached an agreement with Wissol Petroleum, one of Georgia’s biggest fuel distributors, for the establishment of a flagship EKO gasoline station in Tbilisi as a pilot project amid a wider strategy eyeing expansion in the Balkans and southeast Europe.

The new fuel station will mark EKO’s return to the Georgian market following a previous spell that began in 1996, when ELPE became one of the former Soviet state’s first foreign investors, capturing a 5 percent market share with a retail presence numbering 16 outlets.

“EKO’s return to Georgia is the first step in the partnership with Wisssol,” noted Dimitris Karabalis, Greece’s ambassador to Georgia. “Wissol was chosen based on its size as Georgia’s biggest chain and its credibility as a reliable local associate,” he added.

Commenting on the development, ELPE official Roberto Karahannas noted: “We are the most developed group in southeast Europe. Through EKO, we offer the highest quality products in the countries where we are present and are now back in the Georgian market.”

In his remarks, Wissol president Soso Pkhakadze pointed out: “Even though EKO has not been active in Georgia for a number of years, the company, based on market research, is renowned for possessing exceptional quality.”