Woolies off­loads petrol for $1.73b

Mercury (Hobart) - - BUSINESS - JOHN DAGGE

WOOL­WORTHS has struck a deal to sell its petrol sta­tion net­work to a UK re­tail group for $1.73 bil­lion.

The su­per­mar­ket gi­ant said yes­ter­day the agree­ment with EG Group in­volved 540 sites.

The deal fol­lows the com­pe­ti­tion watch­dog re­ject­ing an ear­lier at­tempt by Wool­worths to sell its petrol sta­tion busi­ness to BP for $1.8 bil­lion.

As part of the lat­est trans­ac­tion, Wool­worths and EG Group have struck a 15-year com­mer­cial al­liance cov­er­ing fuel dis­count dock­ets, loy­alty pro­gram points, and the sup­ply of gro­cery items to the sta­tions.

Wool­worths chief Brad Ban­ducci said the su­per­mar­ket chain’s 4c-a-litre fuel dis­count would con­tinue to ap­ply across the net­work fol­low­ing the change of own­er­ship.

Cus­tomers will con­tinue to earn Wool­worths Re­wards points on fuel and mer­chan­dise pur­chases, while the su­per­mar­ket gi­ant will launch a new whole­sale food sup­ply agree­ment with EG Group.

“This trans­ac­tion is a pos­i­tive for our cus­tomers, our team, and our share­hold­ers,” Mr Ban­ducci said.

Wool­worths ex­pects to get For­eign In­vest­ment Re­view Board ap­proval early next year.

Mr Ban­ducci said Wool­worths would con­sider “a range of op­tions” for the use of the sale pro­ceeds, in­clud­ing re­turn­ing the cash to share­hold­ers.

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