Woolworths cancels sale of petrol stations to BP Australia

Australia’s largest supermarket operator, Woolworths Group Ltd, has canceled the sale of its petrol stations to BP Australia.

“Despite its best efforts, BP has determined the transaction cannot be structured to meet its strategic objectives,” BP Australia said in a statement.

Woolworths, which wants to exit the business to focus on supermarkets, said it would pursue “alternative options” for the 527 petrol stations and 16 development sites, without giving details.

The deal was valued at about USD1.3 billion when it was announced on 28 December 2016. The transaction would have boosted BP’s footprint in Australia, which already included some 1,400 service stations.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, however, announced in December last year that it would oppose the deal. The regulator said the deal could be detrimental to competition.

The decision does not deter BP Australia from its strategy to transform the retail convenience sector in Australia, the company added. BP has a proven track record in delivering leading fuel and convenience offers to millions of customers around the world, through partnerships with strong local brands including Marks and Spencer in the UK and REWE in Germany, the company said.

“I am very confident in what the future holds and the delivery of BP’s strategy for strong market-led growth to 2021 with a continued focus on safe and reliable operations, increasing efficiency, simplification and modernization,” said Andy Holmes, BP CEO – Asia Pacific.

“Our ambitions are underpinned by our long-standing strong relationships and partnerships. We are committed to working with our commercial partners, new and existing, to continue our transformational agenda for the integrated fuels value chain, and deliver innovation, technology and best-in-class offer consumers expect,” Holmes said.

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