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Australian Watchdog Probes Viva Energy’s $1.15B Petrol Deal

 |  April 9, 2023

The competition regulator in Australia will conduct a public review of Viva Energy’s bid to acquire the OTR convenience store chain for $1.15 billion. Analysts caution that the potential market power of the merged entity in South Australia could pose a challenge to the approval of the deal.

Viva Energy signed a deal with Peregrine Corporation to acquire OTR’s 205 stores in Australia. Viva Energy owns Geelong oil refinery and various service stations in the country.

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Viva Energy has spruiked the deal as “transformative”, as OTR’s highly successful retail offerings at its service stations – including cafes, quick-serve restaurants and groceries – are set to become increasingly important as motorists spend longer periods waiting for their electric vehicles to charge.

However, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said the deal would first need to undergo a public review, which would include scrutiny of the “aggregation of outlets in South Australia”.

“The parties have commenced discussions with the ACCC and indicated that a submission will be provided in due course,” an ACCC spokesperson said.