In a media statement issued on June 3, 2016, Viva Energy Australia Pty Ltd (Viva Energy) welcomed the announcement by Eureka Operations Pty Ltd (Eureka) that it accepts the judgement of The Court of Appeal – Supreme Court of Victoria with regard to the terms of the Alliance agreement between the parties.

“The Viva Energy and Eureka Alliance is a powerful combination providing customers with quality fuels and a first-class convenience offer.

“We’re focussed on growing our retail business and during the past year have added more than 30 Alliance sites to the network. This is the largest increase in our network for many years, and reflects our investment plans and the strength of the Alliance. Those investment plans contemplate ongoing network growth which will see our two organisations working together with a view to opening more than 100 Alliance sites over the next five years.

“We look forward to continuing to grow our retail business together with Eureka.

“If an A-REIT proceeds, it will provide a strong platform to support the further expansion of the retail network.”

A spokesperson for Viva Energy said while no decisions had been made, the company intends to progress plans to establish an A-REIT.

What’s next?
An investment trust to be established by Viva Energy is considered likely after Coles dropped legal action against the company.

The Australian reports Coles subsidiary, Eureka Operations Pty Ltd, has confirmed that it acknowledged the decision by the Victorian Supreme court in April. At that hearing Viva emerged victorious and paved the way for the launch of the largest real estate investment trust proposed for some years.

It is understood Viva will now undertake a roadshow showcasing the 425 service station portfolio. While Eureka is now working with Viva on growth plans with a view to open more than 100 alliance sites over the next five years. Viva reportedly added more than 30 alliance sites to its network this year.

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) report, Monitoring of the Australian Petroleum Industry, Vitol purchased Shell’s 870 –site retail business in Australia in February 2014.

Viva, whose origins lie in the $2.9 billion acquisition by its parent Vitol and Abu Dhabi Investment Council of Shell’s Geelong refinery and petrol station business, welcomed Coles’ announcement and said that if an A-REIT proceeds it will “provide a strong platform to support the further expansion of the retail network”, reported Fairfax Media.

Colin Long is C&I Magazine’s petroleum editor. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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