Caltex Australia acquires 20% stake in independent oil marketer Seaoil Philippines

Philippine independent oil marketer Seaoil Philippines Inc. has signed a definitive agreement with Caltex Australia, which will acquire a 20% stake in Seaoil. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We have long sought for a strategic partner to complement our capabilities and competitive advantage, and we are optimistic that Caltex Australia, whose values we share and whose operations is like ours in complexity, can help accelerate our growth,” said Seaoil Chairman and Founder Francis Yu.

The so-called “strategic partnership” between the two companies will see Caltex Australia support Seaoil’s current growth strategy to double its retail network and terminal storage capacity over the next five years.

Seaoil has more than 400 stations in the Philippines, from Aparri in the far north to Sarangani in the south.

As part of the strategic partnership, Caltex Australia will supply fuel to Seaoil via Ampol, its fuel sourcing and shipping business in Singapore.

“This is an exciting growth opportunity for Caltex Australia. The fact that Seaoil has chosen to enter this partnership with us is a testament to the skills and capabilities we have been building over many years in our company. It also demonstrates the value that can be created from our position as an independent fuel supplier in the Asia-Pacific region. We look forward to being part of Seaoil’s growth over the coming years,” said Caltex Australia CEO Julian Segal.

Caltex Australia is a 100 percent publicly owned company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. Chevron Corp., which used to have a stake in Caltex Australia, divested its 50% stake in Caltex Australia in 2015.

Caltex Australia supplies one-third of Australia’s transport fuel needs under the Caltex brand and has an extensive terminal and retail network including 76 depots, 12 terminals operated by Caltex, five major and bunker pipelines, nine airport jet fuel supply sites, and more than 1,900 retail sites (including resellers and Australia’s largest retailer fuel network). In 2016, it sold more than 16 billion liters of transport fuels and supply in excess of 70,000 commercial customers.

In the Philippines, Chevron Philippines Inc. markets the Caltex brand at its fuel retail outlets.

In 2016, Caltex Australia lost its bid to acquire the fuel retail assets of Australian mass merchandiser Woolworths’ to BP Australia, which would have increased BP’s market share in Australia to 30% and nearly 2,000 retail sites. Caltex Australia is the fuel supplier to Woolworths. The latest move by Caltex Australia is indicative of its new strategy which is to grow its business outside of Australia, in the Asia-Pacific region, as noted by its chairman. It also has operations in New Zealand under the Gull brand and Singapore under the Ampol brand. Just recently, however, Australia’s competition watchdog announced that it is blocking the sale of Woolworths to BP Australia, which could potentially open another window of opportunity to Caltex Australia.

In the Philippines, Seaoil has a 6% market share, supplying approximately 1.5 billion liters annually through its retail outlets and wholesale business.

“This partnership will also mean exciting times for our employees, our franchisees, distributors and customers as we leverage our partner’s scale and expertise to provide high quality, affordable and accessible fuels and lubricants to the fast-growing Philippine market,” Yu said.