A new name has emerged in the competition to buy about 230 Woolworths petrol stations, with Puma Energy said to be giving Peregrine a run for its money.

Peregrine had earlier been tipped to be the frontrunner in the competition.

PetroChina is now out of the race, as is Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.

The French group Couche-Tard may now also be out.

Puma is a fast-growing global energy company and in Australia it owns Ausfuel Gull, CCG, Matilda and Neumann Petroleum.

It has over 270 retail sites, 20 depots and three bulk seaboard terminals across Australia.

Its sites are currently operated under a variety of brands including Puma, Matilda, Gull, Choice Petroleum and Peak.

Peregrine owns the convenience retail-driven network On The Run.

Both are vying for the petrol stations after the competition watchdog took exception to an earlier planned sale of the 531 petrol stations by Woolworths to BP for $1.8 billion.

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission argued that the sale would lessen competition and have an impact on pricing.

A formal process was then launched by BP to find buyers for about 230 of the stations in the portfolio more than a month ago.

However, it remains unclear whether a sale of close to half of the portfolio would satisfy the ACCC.

While BP has no adviser, it is understood that Morgan Stanley, which has been acting for Woolworths, has offered some assistance.

Extracted from The Australian.