Caltex Australia chief Julian Segal says it is “business as usual” following US energy giant Chevron selling its 50 per cent shareholding in the fuel retailer and refiner for $4.7 billion.

Mr Segal said Caltex remains on the hunt for growth acquisitions of all sizes and would also consider returning capital to shareholders if buying opportunities did not emerge.

“We have been pursuing a very clear strategy, executing on it and this transaction (Chevron) has no impact on the strategy or the way we are executing it,” Mr Segal said on Sunday.

“We will continue as business as usual.”

Chevron sold out of Caltex in Australia’s biggest ever block trade launched following the close of trade Friday.

The widely anticipated trade was run by Goldman Sachs which auctioned 135 million shares for between $34.20 and $35 each.

Caltex closed at $37.88 on Friday.

Mr Segal said the speed at which the trade was completed stood as an “overwhelming endorsement” of Caltex’s strategy.

Caltex CEO Julian Segal.

Caltex CEO Julian Segal.

Caltex is yet to find out who its new major shareholders are although the sale attracted strong interest from local and international institutional investors.

The sale has also raised the prospect of Caltex launching a special dividend given it holds about $1.1 billion in franking credits.

Chief financial officer Simon Hepworth said the company had not changed its view on managing its franking credits but noted Chevron’s exit did make capital management easier.

“Chevon leaving the register does remove a significant complexity for us in the efficient return of capital to shareholders but ultimately the overall strategy in substance isn’t significantly impacted,” Mr Hepworth said.

The sale will also trigger a board shake-up up at Caltex with Chevron accounting for three of its eight directors.

The sale is the latest shake-up of the nation’s fuel retailing and refining sector and follows Shell selling its petrol stations and Geelong refinery in Victoria to Swiss oil trader Vitol for $2.9 billion in February last year.

Like other energy majors, Chevron is working to streamline its business as it faces sliding oil prices and absorbs cost blow outs on major new projects such as its now $69bn Gorgon LNG development in Western Australia.

Chevron’s block sale stands as the largest completed in Australia, passing the two separate trades Shell used to reduce its stake in gas pureplay Woodside Petroleum in 2010 and last year.

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