Woolies considers challenging ACCC on BP deal

WoolworthsWoolworths has been contemplating challenging the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) decision to reject the sale of its service stations to BP.

The supermarket giant signed a deal with the petrol station to sell its 527 petrol stations and convenience stores and 16 development sites to BP for $1.8 billion in December 2016. The consumer watchdog rejected the deal, arguing BP’s acquisition would substantially lessen competition in fuel prices.

According to AAP, Brad Banducci, Woolies CEO, said the company was disappointed with the decision. Woolies is considering different options including launching a court challenge to overturn the ACCC’s opposition or restructuring the sale.

“We are regrouping and assessing our options for the business but our main focus is to ensure there is minimal disruption to our team members and customers at this time,” Banducci said.

The supermarket giant also recently announced they are helping customers choose a healthier basket following the release of Deakin University’s Health Ratings for Supermarkets Report. The report assessed all Australian supermarkets policies and commitments towards health and nutrition and ranked Woolworths as the highest performer in the group. The report also called on Australian retailers to do more to encourage healthy eating.

“At Woolworths, we understand that health is important to our customers and we want to help make it easier for them to make healthier choices. We are pleased to see key initiatives, like our support for the Federal Government’s Health Star Ratings and our Free Fruit for Kids program, which has given out over 18 million pieces of fruit in the last year alone, being recognised in the Deakin University Report,” said Claire Peters, managing director, Woolworths.

“While the report highlights some of the progress we have made, we do acknowledge there is more we can do. We are determined to lead the way when it comes to helping our customers make healthier choices, with the initiatives outlined in the report representing only the start of our journey in this area.”

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