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Australian 7-Eleven business sold for $1.71 billion

The 7-Eleven Australia convenience store chain has been sold for $1.71 billion to 7-Eleven International (7IN) a joint venture of the brand’s Japanese-listed parent Seven & I and the US business.

The Withers and Barlow families which own 7-Eleven in Australia have been looking to sell the business since early this year and there were reports they were hoping to secure as much as $2 billion for it.

Seven & I Holdings owns the global 7-Eleven licence and operates the business in Japan and other markets.

In a statement released Thursday evening, 7-Eleven Stores Pty Ltd said the local business would continue to be operated from its head office in Melbourne and the current management team would continue to lead it on behalf of the new owners.

The convenience and petrol retailer kickstarted the process to sell its entire business earlier this year.

The 7-Eleven Stores in Australia is owned by the Withers and Barlow families. In 1976, they  signed the area licence agreement to bring the 7-Eleven brand to Australia, opening the first store in Oakleigh, Victoria in 1977. It has since grown to 750 stores nationwide, processing 250 million transactions annually and employing more than 9000 staff at corporate and franchise levels.

“The company has made significant progress in recent years on a number of fronts and is performing well under a highly credentialed management team,” said Russell Withers, repeating a statement on behalf of the board in May.

“Now is the right time for our families to pass the business to new owners to continue to build and develop this wonderful brand.”

“7IN sees the potential of the 7-Eleven Australia business and shares our vision to be the first choice in convenience retailing in Australia,” added the chairman of 7-Eleven Australia, Michael Smith. “They bring a strong understanding of the convenience market globally and will continue to draw on 7&I Holdings’ capabilities in product development capabilities, digital technology, and environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives to further strengthen the 7-Eleven brand in this market.”

7IN co-CEOs Shin Abe and Ken Wakabayashi said the acquisition demonstrates the company’s commitment to growing the brand globally. “We are looking forward to continuing to enhance the 7-Eleven brand in Australia, which enjoys a long-standing presence and unrivalled brand recognition with customers.”

The deal is subject to regulatory approval, with completion expected in the second quarter of next year. Azure Capital and Ashurst acted as advisors.

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