Caltex sets sights on New Zealand

Caltex Australia has entered into an agreement to acquire Gull New Zealand (Gull) for around $325 million with plans to retain Gull’s brand, management and employees.

Under the transaction, Caltex will acquire Gull’s Mount Maunganui import fuel terminal and retail operating assets.

Caltex says this acquisition delivers on its strategic plan as it optimises Caltex’s infrastructure position, builds trading and shipping capability, grows the supply base and enhances its retail fuel offering through low-risk entry into a new market.

Gull has been successfully operating in the New Zealand fuel market since 1998 and is operationally positioned as a challenger brand. It has 77 retail sites in total, including 55 controlled retail sites (with around one-third of sites unmanned) and 22 supply sites. It also provides fuel to numerous commercial (B2B) customers.

Gull sells around 300 million litres of transport fuel (petrol and diesel) annually, representing around five per cent of the New Zealand market.

The Mount Maunganui terminal is the largest facility of its type in New Zealand with total storage of around 90 million litres. While its retail network is concentrated in the northern half of the country’s North Island, Gull is well placed to grow profitably via new-to-industry and/or new supply-site expansions.

Subject to regulatory approval from the New Zealand Overseas Investment Office, completion of the transaction is scheduled for the second quarter of 2017.

On December 15, Caltex forecast a replacement-cost operating profit (RCOP) after tax for the 2016 full year of $500 million to $520 million, excluding significant items. This outlook compares with an RCOP after-tax profit of $628 million for the 2015 full year, excluding significant items.

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