After an 11-year absence due to its incorporation with Wesfarmers (ASX: WES), one of country’s leading supermarkets is back on the Australian Stock Exchange.

Shares in Coles Group (ASX: COL) started trading today following a decision from the Supreme Court of Western Australia on Monday to approve a Wesfarmers shareholder vote in favour of the demerger.

“We are pleased to be joining the ASX under our own name,” says Coles chairman James Graham.

“Listing Coles on the ASX as a standalone business marks the next phase in the evolution of a company that began as a single store in Collingwood 104 years ago.

“I speak for the entire board when I say it is an immense privilege to be with Coles for such a milestone, and we thank our 480,000-plus new shareholders for joining us on this journey.”

Coles CEO Steven Cain says the past 11 years with Wesfarmers have seen Coles transform into a world-class supermarket retailer.

“Our 115,000 team members can take enormous pride that their company is now listed alongside some of the largest and most recognised businesses in Australia,” he said.

“We’re all very excited for the next chapter in the Coles story as we deliver on our strategy to make life easier for our customers.”

In a joint statement, Cain and Graham highlight each week Coles’ businesses serve an average of 21 million customers across fresh food, groceries, household goods, liquor, fuel and financial services.

The group has a national store network of more than 2,500 retail outlets and its online platforms.

“Our retail presence includes Coles Supermarkets, Coles Express, Coles Online, Liquorland, Vintage Cellars, First Choice Liquor and First Choice Liquor Market, Spirit Hotels and Coles Financial Services,” state Cain and Graham.

“We also own a 50 per cent stake in flybuys, Australia’s most popular loyalty program.

“We are also proud to work in partnership with over 7,000 suppliers, including thousands of Australian farmers.”

Coles shares will be transferred to eligible shareholders on 28 November and the shares will trade on a normal settlement basis from 29 November.

WES shares have fallen by close to 30 per cent to reflect the demerger, while COL shares are listed at $13.05, which falls at the lower end of the $13-14 range analysts have been expecting for the newly listed company.

Extracted from Business News Australia