Gilbert + Tobin has advised fuel retailer OTR Group on the successful ACCC clearance for its A$1.15 billion acquisition by Viva Energy. The deal is subject to Viva Energy divesting 25 Coles Express sites in South Australia.

Viva Energy is one Australia’s leading fuel retailers, operating a nationwide chain of fuel and service stations, including Coles Express. OTR Group, also a fuel retailer, operates predominantly in South Australia, where it boasts the largest footprint in the region. As part of the proposed acquisition, Viva Energy will acquire a total of 184 OTR retail fuel stations excluding 25 Coles Express sites in South Australia which will be divested to Chevron. 

Head of Gilbert + Tobin’s Competition, Consumer + Market Regulation group, Elizabeth Avery noted: “We are excited to have assisted OTR Group on this landmark transaction to achieve an outstanding result. The transaction reflects a culmination of many years’ work by the OTR Group in creating an innovative fuel + grocery experience for its customer. The transaction will enable Viva to expand the OTR offering across its national network. The G+T team did a superb job in providing the ACCC a detailed local area analysis to enable them to closely analyse local competition dynamics in South Australia.

Partner Jeremy Jose, who also assisted, commented “This was an exciting deal to work on, and the final result is the product of a lot of work behind the scenes to achieve a great commercial outcome that also addressed the ACCC’s competition concerns.”

Elizabeth and Jeremy were supported by special counsel Haidee Leung, and lawyers Radha Rathi, Neeharika Maddula and Brittany Baker. Corporate Advisory partner Hiroshi Narushima advised on the M&A aspects of the merger. 

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