Billionaire Russell Withers has unloaded another portion of portfolio of his 7-Eleven service stations in a five-month-long divestment totalling $156m.

On Tuesday, the former 7-Eleven boss sold a further 18 outlets for a tidy $78.2m. It adds to the $78m Mr Withers and the family of his late sister and business partner, Beverly Barlow, made in an October sale of 15 petrol and retail stores.

All 33 properties were sold under the hammer at auction with a 12-year lease-back condition to the Withers and Barlow family-owned company, Convenience Properties, which retains a number of other outlets within 7-Eleven’s network of over 600 franchises nationwide.

Mr Withers was at the helm of the company when it was rocked by a wages underpayment scandal in 2015, with the company forced to pay franchisee employees $160m.

The Withers and Barlow families still own the business, with the late Ms Barlow’s portion represented by her three children. Mr Withers is still one of the country’s richest people, with an estimated fortune of $825m.

Commercial agency Burgess Rawson facilitated both auctions.

The average yield for the 18 outlets was 4.83 per cent, with a store at Wantirna in Melbourne’s east achieving the highest sales price of the day, selling for $7.13m with a yield of 4.59 per cent.

The highest yield on offer sat at 6.15 per cent, with the Sunshine Coast location at Nambour fetching $3.85m. A majority of outlets sold off this week were located in NSW and Melbourne. A handful were scattered in the ACT and Queensland.

Burgess Rawson director Billy Holderhead marketed the portfolio along with colleagues Jamie Perlinger and Simon Staddon. Charter Keck Cramer’s Andrew Grant, Jessica Crossland and Tom Byrnes acted as transaction advisors. Current 7-Eleven general manager of retail Braeden Lord said the results were an outstanding vote of confidence in the brand.

Extracted from The Australian