ACCC clears Viva Energy’s acquisition of OTR

Viva Energy has received the greenlight for its acquisition of OTR Group after committing to divest 25 Coles Express sites in South Australia.

Viva initially offered to divest 23 of its 32 retail sites in Adelaide. However, the number of sites to be divested increased to 25 in response to concerns raised by the consumer watchdog.

Stephen Ridgeway, ACCC Commissioner, said the ACCC was concerned that the proposed acquisition would adversely affect competition and reduce choice for consumers in Adelaide and Ceduna.

“Without the divestiture, the proposed acquisition would combine the largest retail fuel network in South Australia with Viva Energy’s retail network, providing Viva Energy with an extended network that is significantly larger than its next largest rival.”

Chevron has been approved as the purchaser of the 25 Coles Express sites to be divested, and in exchange, Viva Energy will receive 13 Chevron sites located in Queensland, New South Wales, and Western Australia.

“As part of our assessment, we took into account Chevron’s previous and current experience in the Australian fuel industry, as well as its financial capability and plans to maintain and operate the 25 divestiture sites,” said Ridgeway.

The ACCC’s review focused on areas in which the OTR Group and Viva Energy’s operations overlap, which is predominantly in South Australia and the Northern Territory, in which the ACCC considered the competition effects at both the retail and wholesale levels.

Viva Energy will acquire 184 OTR retail fuel sites: 153 sites in South Australia (115 of which are in Adelaide), 15 sites in the Northern Territory, eight sites in Western Australia, 11 sites in Victoria, and two sites in New South Wales. It now plans to extend the OTR brand to Coles Express sites in states outside South Australia.

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