Ampol's capital returns since 2015.

Ampol is gearing up for a spending spree, with suggestions that the locally listed fuel retailer is keen on EG Group’s $2bn-odd Australian service station portfolio.

Offshore reports suggest that the British petrol station and fast food outlet owner EG is likely to part ways with its Australian fuel convenience chain only three years after it fought off competition to buy the portfolio for $1.7bn.

It is understood that the logic for a sale is that the company is keen to reduce its level of debt.

ources say that should the assets hit the market, as expected, Ampol wants to compete for the portfolio.

Ampol shares closed up 3c
Ampol shares closed up 3c
Australian fuel demand v 2019 baseline
Australian fuel demand v 2019 baseline

The $6.6bn Ampol is embarking on due diligence to buy its New Zealand rival Z Energy for $1.9bn and is also among a group of suitors looking at the $1bn Australian portfolio of Meridian Energy that is currently on offer.

Ampol’s strategy has been to take a more environmentally friendly approach in the future and gear up for the emergence of electric vehicles.

EG Group lobbed a bid for the Ampol business early last year. EG proposed paying $3.9bn in cash for Ampol’s convenience retail business with the existing fuel and infrastructure division to be listed.

However, the proposal was rebuffed.

Working for EG that time around were investment banks Jefferies, Bank of America and Citi, which may turn up alongside EG again if it moves forward with Australian sale plans.

EG Group’s Australian business consists of the 540 fuel convenience sites it purchased from Woolworths in 2018.

extracted in full from: Ampol circling EG’s $2bn service station portfolio (theaustralian.com.au)

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