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Caltex in deal to buy 302 gas stations

CALTEX Australia Ltd, the country's largest oil refiner, said yesterday that it had agreed to buy ExxonMobil Corp's Australian gas stations for A$300 million (US$236 million).

The sale is subject to the approval of Australian competition and investment regulators.

Caltex said the acquisition of 302 gas stations would enable it to become a leading player in the Australian retail fuel sector.

"This is a great platform for growth for us," said Des King, Caltex's managing director and chief executive.

The company will pay cash for the acquisition of the gas stations.

The company, which employs around 1,000 workers in its retail network, said it is buying the stations from the United States-based company's subsidiary, Mobil Oil Australia Pty Ltd. It expects to employ an additional 1,700 staff.

Mobil said the sale would not affect ExxonMobil's Australian oil and gas production operations, which remain an important part of the company's global portfolio.

"The Australian retail fuels market is highly competitive and challenging," Mobil's fuels director Paul Rea said in a statement.

"Mobil is now a relatively small participant in that sector of the market following the extensive rationalization of its company owned service station network over the last few years," added Rea.


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