CHEVRON Corporation earned $4.73 billion through the sale of its 50 per cent shareholding in Caltex Australia – in a move it said was in line with earlier commitments.
Chevron’s executive vice president for downstream and chemicals, Michael Wirth, said the group a standing commitment to review its asset portfolio and to generate cash to support its long-term priorities.
“We appreciate the strong performance of Caltex Australia over the many years we’ve been a shareholder, and look forward to a mutually beneficial supply and brand relationship for many years to come,” he said.
The Asia Pacific would remain a focus area for Chevron’s downstream business, Chevron International Products, Downstream and Chemicals president Mark Nelson said.
The company sold its 135 million shares in Caltex Australia for $35 per share, saying the total gain would be reflected in its second quarter 2015 results.
Caltex Australia will be able to retain its brand under the current trademark licensing agreement with Chevron, the US supermajor said, adding that it would also continue to ensure a supply of product to the chain.
“Today’s announcement does not alter Chevron’s focus on moving the Gorgon and Wheatstone liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects towards start-up,” the group added.
Caltex Australia managing director Julian Segal said Caltex was pleased that Chevron’s share sale was met with strong demand from investors.
“The success of the sale is also a strong endorsement of our strategy, which we have delivered on to date, and which remains unchanged,” Mr Segal said.
“Caltex is Australia’s leader in transport fuels and we remain committed to delivering top quartile shareholder returns. We retain an unyielding commitment to serving our customers with safe and reliable supply.”
Caltex will retain the same senior management team following the changes, the group said, with company chairman Elizabeth Bryan to stand for re-election at the Annual General Meeting on 7 May, with the full support of the Board.
“Our focus in delivering shareholder returns is to explore areas for growth – we continue to look to leverage our existing capabilities in retailing, franchising, supply chain management, infrastructure services, and the processing, storage and distribution of hydrocarbons,” Mr Segal said.
“We will do this while retaining a disciplined approach to capital management and our investment grade rating. In the absence of sustainable growth investments, we may consider capital management opportunities.”
Caltex’s supply chain is unaffected by Chevron’s share sale.
“Ampol Singapore has been operating for over 12 months and has successfully forged strong links to a broad range of reputable fuel suppliers across Asia and beyond. Chevron is one of several suppliers contributing to our comprehensive and flexible supply chain,” Mr Segal said.