Gas-Station Billionaires Join Battle for Caltex Australia

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(Bloomberg) -- EG Group, the U.K. company led by Mohsin and Zuber Issa, joined the bidding war for Caltex Australia Ltd., seeking to beat a rival offer by Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.

The company said it would pay A$3.9 billion ($2.6 billion) in cash for Caltex’s retail outlets and is also offering shareholders a stake in a new listed entity called Ampol that will house the fuel and infrastructure business. Caltex Australia said its board was considering the proposal.

Click here for more details of the offer

The Australian fuel retailer, which has a network of about 2,000 sites, is also considering a sweetened A$35.25-per-share cash offer from convenience-store giant Couche-Tard that values the company at A$8.8 billion. That proposal offers Caltex shareholders more certainty as the total value of EG Group’s offer hasn’t been disclosed.

The closely held EG Group is offering Caltex shareholders A$15.62 per share cash and one share in Ampol. The non-binding offer is subject to several conditions including access to Caltex’s books.

Shares in Sydney-based Caltex rose 0.2% to A$34.56 at 11.06 a.m. local time.

EG Group was formed in 2016 when Euro Garages, run by the Issas, merged with TDR’s European Forecourt Retail Group.

The Issa brothers have built one of the world’s largest independent gas-station chains through a series of debt-fueled purchases. The company last year completed the A$1.73 billion purchase of 540 Australian fuel outlets from Woolworths Group Ltd. From a single gas station purchased in 2001, it is now a global giant with about 5,000 fuel stations and convenience stores across Europe, North America and Australia.

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