SYDNEY: Viva Energy (ASX: VEA) has presented a court-enforceable divestiture plan to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) concerning its proposed acquisition of the OTR Group.
The proposal aims to address competition concerns, with the ACCC assessing its effectiveness in preserving competition in the South Australian retail fuel market.
Viva Energy and its affiliates manage a nationwide fuel supply chain, including Coles Express convenience sites. OTR, primarily operating in South Australia, with some presence in other states and territories, is a fuel and convenience retailer under the Puma brand.
The divestiture proposal suggests Viva Energy selling 24 Coles Express sites in Adelaide and one additional site in Ceduna, Eyre Peninsula, to an ACCC-approved purchaser. Chevron is the proposed buyer, despite the ACCC emphasizing that public consultation does not guarantee acceptance of this or any other remedy. The ACCC invites feedback on the proposal until November 27, 2023.
Originally proposing to divest 23 sites in Adelaide, Viva Energy increased the number to 24 in response to ACCC concerns. The ACCC is scrutinizing whether Chevron’s acquisition of the divestiture sites would create a robust, independent, and long-term competitor to a combined Viva and OTR.