Viva Energy completes Liberty deal, flags $1billion investment

Viva Energy Australia, the exclusive distributor of Shell branded fuels and lubricants in Australia, has completed its acquisition of a non-controlling stake in Liberty Oil, one of its largest retail customers.

Viva Energy businesses include the Shell Geelong refinery, supported by more than 20 terminals across the country supplying around 870 petrol convenience sites.

Scott Wyatt, Viva Energy CEO, said that the Liberty purchase is part of a wider program aimed at building demand and improving the outlook for the Geelong Refinery, while the business benefits more than 1000 employees and contractors in the Geelong community and Victorian economy.

“Liberty is one of our largest customers and this investment means we can further supply regional Victorians with locally made fuel from Geelong Refinery,” Mr Wyatt said.

“We want to grow our business and the Liberty acquisition is a good example of this. The purchase is in addition to the expected $1 billion investment during the next five years to improve our refining business, expand our supply capability and develop our customer offering.”

Liberty Founding Partners, David Wieland and David Goldberger, said that the acquisition by Viva Energy was positive for the Liberty business as well as their customers, while the day-to-day operation and management of the business will not change.

“Liberty has ambitious plans to accelerate national growth and we are very happy to welcome Viva Energy as a shareholder, particularly as the company is renowned for safe, reliable and cost effective fuel supply,” Mr Goldberger said.

“We are also pleased to announce that two Viva Energy representatives will join the Liberty board – Daniel Ridgway, general manager Supply and Distribution and Gary Brown, financial controller – who will be involved in this expansion program.”

Liberty distributes hundreds of millions of litres of fuel a year through directly owned and operated distribution centres and independently owned fuel wholesalers, retailers, and distributors. It also operates a fleet of road trains and tankers and is a major supplier to rural customers throughout Australia.

Viva Energy also announced the launch of its Low Aromatic Fuel across the northern half of Australia in support of the Federal Government’s national Petrol Sniffing Prevention Program.

Viva Energy is contracted to supply Low Aromatic Fuel to wholesale customers, including service stations, in targeted regions across the Northern Territory, East Kimberley, Cape York and the Gulf of Carpentaria for up to 4.5 years.

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