The nation’s leading fuel retailer Caltex Australia is granting due diligence access to Canadian convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard (ATD) after it made a third and final offer for the business last week.
On Thursday, Couche-Tard submitted an offer of $8.8 billion to acquire all Caltex shares not long after the provision of selected non-public information by Caltex to ATD.
The Caltex Board announced that it would be advancing talks with ATD on Monday morning but on a non-exclusive basis, keeping all other options on the table.
“The Caltex Board considers that it is in the interests of Caltex shareholders to engage further with ATD,” the Board said in a statement to the ASX.
“Accordingly, Caltex has decided to provide ATD with the opportunity to conduct additional due diligence on a non-exclusive basis.”
While the Board said there is no guarantee that the move will result in a sale, it does send a strong signal to other interested parties that it is taking this final offer seriously.
Last week, Bloomberg reported that British retailer EG Group is in talks to team up with Macquarie Group Ltd in a bid to acquire Caltex.
People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that if successful, EG Group would keep Caltex’s main retail business, while Macquarie would take its refinery unit and some infrastructure assets.