Morgan Stanley has been mandated to sell Woolworths’ petrol station business, industry sources told Street Talk.

Sources said the US investment bank had been working on a potential sale in recent months and had reached out to interested parties.

The unit is expected to be worth $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion.

ASX-listed Caltex Australia is expected to be interested. It knows Woolworths’ petrol business well, as fuel supplier and a partner of the business.

Other potential buyers include UK-based oil supermajor BP, which has also shown some interest in the unit, as previously revealed by this column, along with fellow fuel industry players Puma Energy and Vitol.

Woolworths operates about 500 convenience stores under the Caltex brand, selling more than 4 billion litres of fuel per  year. Sales at Woolworths petrol division were worth $5.63 billion in the 2014/15 financial year.

The potential sale comes as Woolworths also seeks to sell its hardware chain, headed by Masters and Home Timber and Hardware, and considers the future of other businesses including EziBuy. 

Extracted in full from Australian Financial Review.