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Caltex advances talks with Couche-Tard in hope of revised takeover offer

Fuel retailer Caltex Australia is one step closer to a potential sale as it enters talks to share non-public information with Canadian convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard (ATD).

On Thursday, the retailer released an update to the ASX stating that the two companies have entered into a confidentiality agreement to provide further information to ATD.

Caltex turned down Couche-Tard’s initial offer of $8.6 billion in December, saying it undervalued the business but left the door open for further talks.

The retailer will be hoping that the information shared over the coming days will prompt a higher offer from ATD, but warned there was no guarantee of this outcome.

“There is no certainty that the discussions between Caltex and ATD will result in ATG improving its indicative cash price or in ATD making a binding proposal,” Caltex said in a statement.

Couche-Tard said it was looking forward to receiving the information.

“We continue to believe our proposal fully values Caltex and is compelling for Caltex shareholders, and we look forward to receiving selected non-public information from Caltex,” the company said in a statement.

Several more parties have since expressed interested in acquiring part or all of its business, including UK-based EG Group which snapped up Woolworths’ fuel business for $1.7 billion in 2018.

After a rocky start to the 2019 financial year, with profit falling 54 per cent in the first half, Caltex floated an initial public offering in late November where it would partially divest from around 50 retail sites.

The retailer expects the proposed IPO to offer significant value for shareholders, while also allowing the company to maintain operational control of the core Convenience Retail network.

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