American oil giant Chevron has confirmed it has offloaded its Caltex New Zealand service station assets - selling them to locally owned fuel retailer Z Energy for $785m..
Chevron New Zealand sold its 11.4 per cent stake in Refining NZ last week to institutional and retail investors through a block sale that raised more than $80 million.
That deal came hot on the heels of Chevron's sale in March of its 50 per cent stake in Caltex Australia for A$4.6 billion ($4.95 billion), making it the biggest block trade in Australian corporate history.
Z Energy has now bought Chevron's 147 Caltex service stations and 73 truck filling sites it operates in this country.
Z chief executive Mike Bennetts said Mike Bennetts said Z would operate two brands throughout the combined service station network. Z would continue with its new build programme on prime sites around New Zealand.
"The acquisition is also a great fit with our longer term market growth strategy," said Bennetts.
"Caltex is a successful and highly attractive business in New Zealand and the acquisition means we can use the scale of the combined operation for the expanded supply of biodiesel to a broader market."
He said the Commerce Commission and Overseas Investment Office processes were expected to take some months. "It is very much business as usual for Z, with a continued focus on safety, people and operational excellence."
The transaction will be financed through a combination of existing cash, committed term debt and standby facilities together with an expected underwritten pro rata equity raising - which would occur closer to settlement.
California-based Chevron Corporation said in March that it planned to sell US$15 billion ($21 billion) worth of assets over the coming three years in an effort to maintain shareholder dividends in the face of low oil prices.
The New Zealand Superannuation Fund and Infratil purchased Shell NZ's downstream assets for $696.5 million in 2010.
The acquisition included 229 service stations and a 17.1 per cent stake in Refining NZ.
The Shell assets were rebranded as Z in 2012 and floated on the stock exchange the following year. Z had $206 million cash-on-hand and net debt of $224 million at the end of March.
Chevron NZ reported a net profit of $43 million from gross operating revenue of $2.2 billion last year. Independent franchisees operate all of the Caltex service stations and seven of the truck filling sites.