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Couche-Tard takes another bite at Caltex with $8.8bn offer

Canadian convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard (ATD) has once again thrown its hat in the ring in the race to secure a deal with fuel retailer Caltex, putting forward its “best and final offer”.

Couche-Tard has submitted a fresh offer of $8.8 billion to acquire all Caltex shares by way of a scheme of arrangement.

ATD has offered A$35.25 cash per share, following on from its previous offers of $34.50 and $32 per share, both of which were rejected by the Caltex board.

The revised proposal follows the provision of selected non-public information by Caltex to ATD which it had hoped would prompt a stronger bid.

“ATD has indicated that its revised price is its best and final price in the absence of a competing proposal,” Caltex said in a statement to the ASX on Thursday morning.

“The Revised Proposal permits Caltex to pay a special dividend to shareholders.”

The offer is subject to a number of conditions, unanimous recommendation by the Caltex Board and approval of the ATD Board. A potential deal would also be subject to Foreign Investment Review Board approval.

The Caltex Board is currently considering the proposal and said there is “no certainty that it will result in a change of control transaction”.

EG Group teams up with Macquarie on Caltex bid

British retailer EG Group is reportedly in talks to team up with Macquarie Group Ltd in its attempt to acquire Caltex, according to Bloomberg.

People familiar with the matter said if the bid is successful, EG Group would keep Caltex’s main retail business, while Macquarie would take on its refinery unit and some infrastructure assets.

EG Group is one of the world’s largest independent fuel station and convenience store chains and in 2018, snapped up Woolworths’ fuel business for $1.725 billion.

The supermarket giant entered into a 15 year commercial alliance with the global leader which includes a wholesale food supply agreement.

According to a Caltex annual report, fuel and infrastructure accounted for about 65 per cent of its earnings before interest and tax in 2018, with the remainder coming from its convenience retail business.

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