January 8, 2020 / 4:29 AM / 2 months ago

BUZZ-Caltex Australia rises as bidding war brews, despite no formal offer

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** Shares of petrol pump and convenience store operator Caltex Australia rise as much as 1.7% to A$35.630, their highest since Feb. 28, 2018

** Co says it has had approaches from a number of parties, including UK-based independent gas station and convenience store chain EG Group, who have indicated potential interest in buying Caltex or some of its assets

** “We think the chances of success of any bids hinge largely on deal value as opposed to regulatory risk with any additional entrants into the mix a positive indicator,” - RBC

** RBC maintained a rating of “outperform” with a PT of A$33.00

** Caltex last month rejected a sweetened takeover bid of A$8.61 bln ($5.97 bln) from Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc citing “low takeover premium”, but had been open to a higher bid

** Speculation about a counterbid from EG Group had lifted Caltex shares above Alimentation Couche-Tard’s offer price of A$34.4 per share

** Co has not received any acquisition proposal subsequent to ATD’s proposal

** Three of 9 analysts rate the stock “buy” and 6 “hold”; their median PT is A$34.25– Refinitiv data

** In the last 45 days, Caltex stock has risen 29%, while smaller rival Viva Energy Group slipped 2.3%

Reporting by Niyati Shetty and Devika Syamnath

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