Australian firm Ampol has agreed to acquire New Zealand-based fuel distribution and retailing company Z Energy for $1.39bn (NZD2bn).

Ampol has offered Z Energy’s shareholders $2.63 (NZD3.78) per share, as well as a dividend of $0.035 (NZD0.05) per share with respect to the half of the year that ended 30 September 2021.

The transaction is expected to create a Trans-Tasman fuel player with a network of about 2,400 sites and a fuel supply capacity of approximately 23.5 barrels per annum.

Z Energy said its directors have unanimously approved the takeover offer and recommended shareholders vote in favour of the same.

Z Energy chair Abby Foote said: “The board has been focussed on the best interest of Z shareholders and has engaged constructively with Ampol over several months to secure additional value beyond the initial approach in June.”

Z Energy CEO Mike Bennetts said: “Z will be able to tap into Ampol’s significant supply chain, including trading and shipping operations, that will deliver scale benefits to Z.”

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By GlobalData

Ampol CEO and managing director Matt Halliday said the transaction would bring considerable benefits to New Zealand.

Halliday added: “The additional scale, when combined with our established trading and shipping capabilities, regional supply chain and broader fuels infrastructure will bolster New Zealand’s fuel security as the local market transitions to fuel imports.”

Ampol said that the scheme is contingent on clearance from the New Zealand Overseas Investment Office, the New Zealand Commerce Commission, and certain other conditions.

To secure the New Zealand Commerce Commission approval and to address potential competition law issues, Ampol will divest its Gull fuel station business in New Zealand.

The transaction is planned to be completed in the first half of 2022.

Earlier, Ampol made three takeover offers of $2.28 (NZD3.35), $2.38 (NZD3.50) and $2.45 (NZD3.60) per share to Z Energy but were rejected.

Z Energy owns a 15.4% stake in New Zealand’s only oil refinery Refining NZ, which is planned to be converted into a fuel import terminal.