Gilbert + Tobin advised Viva Energy Group Limited (Viva Energy) on its successful initial public offering (IPO) and listing on the Australian Securities Exchange. It is the largest IPO in Australia for four years and the largest non-government IPO in Australian corporate history.
Viva Energy, the former Australian downstream business operated by Shell, raised $2.65 billion under the IPO at $2.50 per share, giving it a market capitalisation of $4.8 billion (based on the issue price).
Viva Energy supplies fuel to retail customers through a nationwide network of 1,165 service stations, the majority of which are Shell branded and form part of an alliance with Coles Express. Viva Energy also enjoys longstanding relationships with commercial customers across a range of industries and sectors. Viva Energy operates a refinery in Geelong, Victoria, which supplied more than 11% of Australia’s total fuel requirements and 50% of fuel demand in Victoria in 2017. It also has access to a national infrastructure network comprising import terminals, depots and pipelines used for the storage and distribution of fuel products.
David Clee, who led the Gilbert + Tobin team, said “This transaction is particularly significant not only because of its scale, but also because it brings to the market a great Australian business that has played a critical role in supplying Australian consumers with fuel for over 100 years. We are delighted to have assisted Vitol and the Viva Energy team on another major transaction, and we wish the directors and management of Viva Energy the very best in their journey as an ASX100 company.”
Alex Kauye, a Melbourne-based Corporate partner who also played a key role on the transaction, said “This transaction is a timely reminder that large-scale IPOs can be executed in the Australian market for businesses with strong fundamentals and a compelling story to tell. We were able to draw on our deep knowledge of Viva Energy’s business and our market-leading ECM expertise to assist in delivering an outstanding outcome for Viva Energy and its stakeholders.”
Gilbert + Tobin also advised on various transactions undertaken in connection with the IPO, including a complex restructuring and a refinancing of Viva Energy’s debt facilities. Gilbert + Tobin’s role on the IPO follows roles advising on the initial acquisition of Shell’s Australian downstream business and the successful listing of the service station property portfolio by way of Viva Energy REIT.
The broader Gilbert + Tobin team included Corporate Advisory partner Elizabeth Hill and lawyers Ciara Coleman, Bridget Sutton, Anna De Navi, Beth Jeffers, Wendy Hsu, Susan Ellicott, Nick Madders, Hannah Bragge and Caitlin O’Neil, and Banking + Infrastructure partner Simon Lynch and special counsel Spiro Papadolias with lawyer Corrie Eames. Various other partners and lawyers from across the firms practice groups were also involved, including property, environmental and competition/regulatory.