| SYDNEY, July 25
SYDNEY, July 25 Australian petrol and
convenience store retailer United Petroleum is exploring a
potential sale or a joint venture of the business that has a
value of about A$1 billion ($921 million) including debt, people
familiar with the matter told Reuters.
United Petroleum, which specializes in retail and wholesale
fuel markets, ethanol manufacture and convenience stores, has
kicked off the process after receiving a number of approaches
from international companies, one of the people said.
The privately-owned business, which employs more than 2,500
people, is working with KPMG Corporate Finance, the people
added. The potential deal comes after private equity firm Archer
Capital sold fuel distributor and retailer Ausfuel in February
to Puma Energy, a unit of Dutch independent commodity trader
Trafigura Beheer B.V. Local media put the deal value at as much
as A$650 million.
That deal stimulated interest in the sector, with United
Petroleum subsequently attracting interest from international
"United is exploring possibilities for a strategic alliance
with international parties to fast track the expansion of the
United business," a person familiar with the process said.
The source declined to name the international companies that
had made the approaches.
United Petroleum and KPMG did not comment. Sources declined
to be identified as the process is confidential.