Caltex gets ACCC approval to take over Scotts’ fuel division

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Competition regulator will not oppose Caltex’s acquisition of the Scotts Group’s fuel division.

Caltex gets ACCC approval to take over Scotts’ fuel division
Caltex will offload retail fuel sites as part of its takeover of the Scotts Group's fuel division.

 

Caltex has been given a clear path to take over the Scotts Group’s fuel division after agreeing to sell some of its retail fuel sites to satisfy competition concerns.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) approved Caltex’s plan after the company guaranteed four of its retail fuel sites in South Australia and Victoria would be sold as part of its acquisition of Scotts.

The Scotts Group’s fuel division owns a number of retail fuel sites and fuel depots in regional areas of South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and the Northern Territory.

The ACCC says the takeover posed competition concerns in Mt Gambier and Nhill because it would have led to Caltex controlling most of the retail fuel sites in both towns.

"The divestiture of the retail sites by Caltex aims to ensure Caltex faces competition for retail customers in both Mt Gambier and Nhill," ACCC Commissioner Jill Walker says.

To address the ACCC concerns, Caltex provided a court enforceable undertaking requiring it to sell three sites in Mt Gambier and one in Nhill to an ACCC approved purchaser, Agostino, which is an independent operator of BP branded retail fuel sites in South Australia.

The ACCC found that Caltex would be competitively constrained by alternative fuel retailers in other local retail markets for the supply of fuel.

The ACCC also considered whether the acquisition would result in competition concerns in the distribution of fuel to small commercial customers, such as agriculture businesses in regional areas of South Australia, south-western Victoria and southern NSW.

"After careful consideration of the issues and extensive consultation with market participants in regional areas including customers and operators of rival depots, the ACCC formed the view that small commercial customers would continue to have a number of actual or potential alternatives to obtaining deliveries of fuel from Caltex," Walker says.

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