Ampol confirms “short-listed set of bidders” for Gull

Ampol confirms “short-listed set of bidders” for Gull

In its full year results, Ampol confirmed there is a “short-listed set of bidders” for Gull and its acquisition of Z Energy is expected to be completed in the first half of 2022.

Since making the A$1.9bn buyout proposal for Z Energy last year, Ampol put its 112 Gull service stations on the market through Macquarie Capital to appease the New Zealand Commerce Commission (NZCC).

The bidders for Gull are reported by The Australian to be oil traders like Vitol, PetroChina, and Trafigura, as well as private equity firms such as Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.

In its 2021 Full Year Results Presentation, Ampol said that the transaction is subject to the approval of the NZCC and Overseas Investment Office.

The NZCC would not allow Ampol to own both Z Energy as well as Gull and raised concerns over Ampol’s consideration of an IPO option in which Ampol could remain a major shareholder.

“If successful, the combination of Ampol and Z Energy would create the largest fuels distribution and retail network across Australia and New Zealand,” stated the presentation.

Ampol’s Gull NZ has 112 retail sites, including 88 controlled retail sites (including 77 unmanned stations) and 24 supply sites, with an estimated evaluation of A$562 million.

The presentation reported that the Gull business performed well during the year, despite the continued impacts of COVID-19 travel restrictions, adding nine new sites to its network.

Meanwhile, Ampol recorded earnings of $631.2 million in the year to December 2021, representing a 57 per cent increase on the previous year and the highest since 2018.

The strong results, reported in Ampol’s 2021 Annual Report, included a record total sales volume of 22.04 billion litres and strong international growth including the proposed acquisition of New Zealand’s Z Energy, which owns and operates more than 300 fuel stations across the country.

Matt Halliday, Managing Director and CEO of Ampol Australia, said 2021 was a successful and transformational year for Ampol.

“Our strong financial performance reflects the ability of our people to thrive under challenging conditions and demonstrates how our business can respond to the market recovery.”

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