Viva Energy gets the green light for $300m Coles Express acquisition 

In a bid to create Australia’s largest fuel and convenience network, Viva Energy has approval to proceed with the $300 million deal to acquire 710 Coles Express sites nationally. 

Given the green light from the Foreign Investment Review Board and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) last week, the deal will see Viva take over the operation of the retail convenience business, with the Coles Express brand to be phased out over the next 3.5 years.

Scott Wyatt, Chief Executive Officer of Viva Energy, said the acquisition would allow the fuel giant to extend its reach to create an integrated fuel and convenience network built to grow with demand.

“This is an exciting step for Viva Energy that will enable us to further extend our network, invest in new and innovative convenience offers across our stores, and enhance our loyalty and digital programs to simplify the way our customers transact with us. 

“The pandemic has changed the way people work and how they shop. They are shopping more locally, and want more convenience and a wider range of quality products and services. 

“In the future, customers will also be looking for convenient electric vehicle recharging options while they are on the road, and in time we can also expect to see hydrogen refuelling facilities at major highway service centres,” he said. 

Steven Cain, Chief Executive Officer of Coles Group, said the deal is a positive one for Coles, Viva, the public and Coles Express employees. 

“This agreement is positive not only for Coles and Viva Energy, but also for our customers, team members and respective shareholders. Viva Energy is well placed to make the most of opportunities to grow the Express business into the future, while we will strengthen our focus on our omnichannel supermarket and liquor businesses and our ambition of becoming Australia’s most sustainable supermarket group,” he said. 

Approximately 6,000 Coles Express team members and support centre staff will be offered roles with the Viva Energy retail business as part of the deal. 

“We welcome around 6,000 Coles Express team members to the Viva Energy group and look forward to working with them to build exciting new fuel and convenience offers and consolidate our position as a leading retailer in Australia. We will continue to work closely with Coles through the transition and beyond through an ongoing relationship,” said Wyatt.

The acquisition is due to be finalised in the first half of 2023.

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