Multiple parties considering Caltex acquisition

Petrol operator said there is no certainty a binding proposal will be made.

Caltex Australia has confirmed it has been approached by several parties interested in acquiring part or all of its business, following an unsolicited $8.6 billion offer from Canadian convenience operator Alimentation Couche-Tard.

The petrol operator said the initial offer unvalued its business, though offered to pass on non-public information in order to continue negotiations. Though receiving several expressions of interest, Caltex said it hadn’t seen further proposals of acquisition since Alimentation Couche-Tard put forward its offer.

“There is no certainty that any binding proposal will be made by any of the parties who have expressed potential interest,” the business said in an announcement to the ASX. 

UK-based EG Group is one of the companies that has approached Caltex, and according to Bloomberg is working with financial advisors to evaluate making a bid for the business. EG Group currently has around 5,000 fuel and convenience locations across North America, Europe and Australia.

Caltex floated an initial public offering in late November where it would partially divest from around 50 retail sites, prompting Alimentation Couche-Tard’s offer of acquisition less than 24 hours later. 

The petrol operator had a rocky start to the 2019 financial year, with profit falling 54 per cent in the first half, though an increase in fuel margin saw projected annual earnings before interest and tax to land between $190 and $210 million. 

“Despite the softer conditions from ongoing Australian economic weakness, Caltex has continued to outperform our competitors in the retail fuel market by leveraging our fuel supply chain expertise and our high-quality retail network,” outgoing Caltex managing director and CEO Julian Segal said.

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