Energy and commodities company Vitol is working on plans for an initial public offering of its $2 billion Australian fuel business.

Working on the proposed transaction for the European group is Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank.

The non-deal roadshow for the mooted IPO got underway through Asia last week and meetings are currently taking place with fund managers in Australia.

Vitol, the largest oil trader in the world, acquired the petrol stations in 2014 from Shell in a deal worth $2.9 billion. The Shell business was renamed Viva Energy.

It has since sold off the real estate from the acquisition via an earlier IPO for the real estate investment trust Viva Energy REIT.

Vitol supplies 50 airports across Australia and 11,000 petrol stations throughout the country.

Some stations are company-owned and some are dealer-owned, but are branded Shell and Liberty.

Viva Energy also includes the Geelong Refinery and supplies fuel throughout Australia, particularly in the southeast. It also owns fuel infrastructure.

Viva Energy REIT was listed in 2016 with a $1.5 billion market value and Vitol raised $911m in the deal that put its 425 petrol station sites in public hands.

Shares were priced at $2.20 each and soared on their debut, although they are currently trading at $2.04.

The company at the time retained a 40 per cent interest.

BAML worked for Shell on the sale of its petrol stations in 2014 while both Deutsche Bank and Bank of America Merrill Lynch both worked on the Viva Energy float two years ago.

 Extracted from The Australian.

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