Blackburn’s EG Group in £960m Australian deal

Blackburn-based petrol station and convenience store giant EG Group on Friday announced huge expansion plans in Australia by agreeing to buy Woolworths Group’s 540 site network (Woolworths Petrol) for about £960 million.

Woolworths Petrol operates a nationwide network of sites and employs 4,000 people.

In September 2018, EG Group announced further expansion across the US through the acquisition of a portfolio comprising 225 Minit Mart branded convenience retail stores and petrol stations.

With the inclusion of the Woolworths assets, EG Group will now own and operate 5,250 sites across Europe, the US and Australia.

Mohsin Issa, EG Group Founder and co-CEO said: “For the past 17 years, we have had a vision of becoming a leading petrol station/convenience store operator around the world.

“This is another exciting international milestone on our growth journey.

“We are the leading independent petrol forecourt retailer in Europe and are having great success in the US.

“The Woolworths’ assets present a fantastic opportunity to further grow our international footprint and deliver our best-in-class retail experience in a new geography.

“We are committed to investing in the site network, introducing leading retail brands, developing the alliance with Woolworths and working with the exceptional management team.”

The transaction is subject to Australian Foreign Investment Board (FIRB) approval.

Completion is expected to occur in early 2019.

Citigroup is acting as lead financial advisor and Barclays as joint financial advisor to EG Group.

As part of the transaction, EG Group also received fully committed financing from a bank group led by Barclays.

Allen & Overy LLP are M&A and Corporate legal advisors, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP are Banking and Finance legal advisors.