Woolworths petrol stations could be the start of something big

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 17th August 2016
Petrol

Speculation has arisen that Woolworths plans to sells its petrol station businesses.

According to the Australian Financial Review, financial consultants, Morgan Stanley, have been investigating the sale for several months Caltex, the original owner of the sites, may be a potential buyer.

Citi Bank however has warned the purchase by Caltex may not be straight forward saying it would still likely need to provide the popular fuel discounts offered by Woolworths and that any acquisition may come with conditions from regulatory authorities.

 Is selling the right decision?

If Woolworths decides to divest itself of petrol stations, it may miss out on future lucrative deals from companies who might want to use petrol stations as depots or collection points for its products and services.

If the petrol stations are on the market, it could be the perfect opportunity for a logistics group like Toll, Linfox or even Australia Post could use the sale as a chance to set up an innovative food, beverage and basic necessities distribution network to compete with Coles and Woolworths.

According to Zelman Ainsworth, an Associate Director at CBRE, many retailers are relocating and adapting their business models as retail rents increase and spaces become harder to find limited. Just last week, Coles for example took a new direction, launching its Big Yum at Little Coles new convenience store model focusing on healthy and convenient meal options in a unique way, things are changing.

The Woolworths sale could become more than just a petrol station shop acquisition for any potential buyer.