Z Energy shares halted, Australia’s Ampol said to have made $2.5b bid

Z Energy shares are in a trading halt pending an announcement from the fuel retailer about a possible material transaction amid persistent takeover rumours.

A report in the Australian Financial Review this morning suggested Australia’s Ampol has made a $2.5 billion-odd bid for Z Energy. Ampol owns Gull in New Zealand.

The trading halt was placed at pre-market open today, NZ RegCo said in a statement.

“The halt follows [Z Energy’s] confirmation that it will shortly be in position to make a statement to the market about a possible material transaction. NZ RegCo has determined that it is in the best interests of maintaining an orderly market in Z securities to apply a trading halt, until Z is able to release its announcement regarding those discussions.”

Z Energy has been subject of persistent takeover rumours across the Tasman, wit the talk ramping up after the recent vote to close down the refinery at Marsden Point and turn it into an import only terminal.

The AFR’s Street Talk column this morning said Ampol and Z Energy have been in advanced talks about the takeover proposal for weeks, and have even held discussions about Ampol seeking a secondary listing of its shares on New Zealand’s NZX.

Ampol is best known in Australia for its petrol stations but also has a significant international trading business. It also owns Gull in New Zealand, which has about 100 mostly unmanned fuel retail sites).

Ampol’s expected to try to fund the deal with cash and scrip, which could see it obtain a secondary listing in New Zealand, The AFR reported.

• Stock Takes: Z Energy a takeover target? Well, maybe

Z Energy, whose share price was well north of $8 just five years ago, is seen as a distressed asset at today’s price of just over $3.


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