Thursday, May 30, 2024

Coles to sell fuel and convenience business

Coles is set to sell its fuel and convenience retailing business to Viva Energy in a $300 million deal.

The transaction will see Viva Energy own and operate the 710 Coles Express sites currently operated by Coles. Accordingly, the fuel and convenience alliance between Coles and Viva Energy, which otherwise was due to end in 2029, will terminate at transaction completion.

The alliance’s Coles Express-branded network will be rebranded by Viva Energy, the majority of which will be completed over the next two years. As part of the transaction, Coles and Viva Energy have entered into a multi-year strategic partnership so that Coles and Coles Express customers will continue to enjoy customer offer and loyalty benefits at Coles Express sites. Key features of this strategic partnership include:

  • Access by Coles customers to the 4¢ per litre fuel docket across the network
  • Viva Energy will remain a partner of the Flybuys program, with customers able to continue earning and redeeming points across the network.

Coles Express operations and store support centre teams will transfer to Viva Energy following completion of the sale. Coles will continue to partner with Viva Energy in relation to product supply arrangements enabling customers to benefit from continued access to Coles Own Brand product range. In addition, Coles has agreed to provide ongoing support and services for up to two years to assist Viva Energy in establishing its own internal capabilities.

Coles CEO Steven Cain says the agreement is positive not only for Coles and Viva Energy, but also for the retailer’s customers, team members and respective shareholders.

“Viva is well-placed to make the most of opportunities to grow the Express business into the future, while we will strengthen our focus on our omnichannel supermarket and liquor businesses and our ambition of becoming Australia’s most sustainable supermarket group,” he says.

“I would like to thank all Express team members for their hard work transforming the Coles Express business, including the food-to-go and coffee offer, which recently saw Coles Express win Canstar’s 2022 Award for Most Satisfied Customers.”

Viva Energy CEO Scott Wyatt says Viva has enjoyed a strong partnership with Coles over the last 20 years and this is an exciting next step for the business and relationship.

“The acquisition means we will be able to accelerate our plans to grow the integrated fuel and convenience business while our customers continue to enjoy the excellent customer service provided by the dedicated Express team, the extensive product range in-store and the loyalty programs we know they love,” he says.

“We look forward to welcoming all of the Coles Express team members to Viva Energy once the transaction completes.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions including Viva Energy obtaining Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Foreign Investment Review Board approval. Completion is expected to occur in the second half of FY23.

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