Skip to main content

A Couche-Tard store in Montreal.

Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Caltex Australia Ltd said Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc has raised its buyout offer to A$8.80 billion (C$7.85 billion), in a final attempt to sway the oil refiner and convenience store firm after interest from Britain’s EG Group.

Couche-Tard bumped up its cash offer by 2 per cent to A$35.25 per share, calling its third offer final in the absence of a competing proposal, Caltex said on Thursday.

EG Group has yet to bid, though Caltex last month said the retailer - backed by British private equity firm TDR Capital - had expressed interest in buying some or all of the company.

Story continues below advertisement

Confirming the revised offer, the Canadian firm said it has “long viewed the Asia-Pacific region as strategic to Couche-Tard’s future growth” and remains committed to buying Caltex’s entire business.

A Caltex spokesman declined to comment on whether the firm was in talks with EG Group. EG Group did not respond to a request for comment.

Shares of Sydney-based Caltex jumped more than 5 per cent in early trade but lost some ground by midday. The stock was up 2.4 per cent in late trade, remaining below Couche-Tard’s current offer.

The interest comes as Caltex is forced to re-brand to Ampol within the next three years after the re-entry of former co-owner Chevron Corp into Australian petrol retailing.

The firm turned down Couche-Tard’s previous bids - on Oct. 11 at A$32 and Nov. 18 at A$34.5 - after which it provided the Canadian firm with non-public information to elicit a better offer.

Analysts from RBC Capital Markets and Jefferies said the latest bid was attractive and probably enough to be accepted.

“It represents only a c.18 per cent premium to the pre-bid share price but a lot has changed since then, implying the true premium is much larger,” Jefferies analysts said in a client note.

Story continues below advertisement

The bid gives Caltex the right to pay a special dividend to shareholders - subtracted from the indicative offer - and restricts the Australian firm from selling assets.

EG Group entered Australia in 2018 through the acquisition of supermarket chain Woolworths Group’s petrol stations for A$1.7 billion. The British firm is being advised by Citi.

Your time is valuable. Have the Top Business Headlines newsletter conveniently delivered to your inbox in the morning or evening. Sign up today.

Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Unchecking box will stop auto data updates
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies