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United Petroleum rethinks potential float, petrol site interest hots up

United Petroleum’s rumoured plans for an up to $1.5 billion float or partial sale may be on hold due to the proposed IPO of Shell distributor and retailer Viva Energy, according to industry reports this week.

Korea’s S-Oil Corp, which looked over the business some time ago, is believed to have recently cast another eye over United.

Fairfax newspapers reported in February that United Petroleum was marketing a public float or 50% sale of the company and may forge ahead with a public listing on the stock exchange later in 2015 as higher valuations are being seen in the petrol retail market.

United Petroleum supplies a national network of around 330 franchised and company-owned petrol and convenience stores across Australia and operates fuel import terminals in Victoria, NSW, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

In April, news emerged of a proposed $1 billion float of Viva Energy, connected to a petrol station real estate investment trust for its 870 petrol sites.

Chief executive of Viva Energy Scott Wyatt said that it plans to double the rate of its retail network growth, increase its market share and gain more fuel supply business nationally through the Shell banner and under the retail joint venture with Coles Express.

‘Viva Energy expects to invest $1 billion during the next five years to improve our Geelong refining business, expand our supply capability and develop our customer offering,’ the company said.

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