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Friday, February 23, 2018

Australia’s largest fuels firm to acquire 20% stake in Seaoil

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By Myrna M. Velasco

Fast-rising independent oil industry player Seaoil Philippines, Inc. has sealed a definitive agreement with Caltex Australia Petroleum Pty. Ltd. (Caltex Australia) on the latter’s 20 percent equity acquisition in the Filipino-owned oil firm.

In a statement to the media, Seaoil noted that the transaction cemented “what is intended to be a long-term partnership between the two independent players.”

The value of the stake acquisition of the Australian firm has not been revealed to the media as of press time.

“The new strategic partnership will see Caltex Australia support Seaoil’s current growth strategy, which aims to double the company’s retail network and terminal storage capacity over the next five years,” a press statement from the new partner-firms has indicated.

In view of this tie-up, it was emphasized that “Caltex Australia will supply fuel to Seaoil via Ampol, its fuel sourcing and shipping business in Singapore.”

As specified, Caltex Australia is a 100-percent publicly listed firm at the Australian Stock Exchange (under ticker symbol CTX); and it does not share any common ownership with Chevron Philippines, Inc. which carries the Caltex brand.

Notably, Caltex’ Australia’s market capitalization is in the range of US$6.5 billion- US$7.0 billion, which somehow surpassed the combined capitalization of the two Philippine biggest players, Shell and Petron Corporation.

According to Seaoil Chairman Francis Glenn Yu, the deal is a concretization of their long-desired plan to corner a strategic partner in their venture in the country’s deregulated downstream oil industry.

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

Based on the 2016 industry report of the Department of Energy (DOE), Seaoil stands among the five biggest oil sector players in the country in terms of sales.

For Caltex Australia Chief Executive Officer Julian Segal, the deal “is an exciting growth opportunity for Caltex Australia,” while asserting that Seaoil’s choice of them as a partner “is a testament to the skills and capabilities we have been building over many years in our company.”

Segal emphasized that this also “demonstrates the value that can be created from our position as an independent fuel supplier in the Asia Pacific region,” hence, the cemented tie-up could be its vehicle to becoming part of Seaoil’s growth in the Philippine market in the coming years.

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