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Musgrave shows interest in Statoil's Irish network

MUSGRAVE, the Cork-based wholesaler, is among about 30 groups to have expressed a formal interest in buying Statoil’s petrol stations in Ireland.
This could see it go head-to-head with Tesco, the British multiple that is also thought to be interested in Statoil.
It is understood that Musgrave, which had revenues of €3.6 billion in 2004, had already been investigating ways of expanding into petrol forecourt retailing when news of Statoil’s sale broke this month. The cash-and-carry group has sought details of the sale from Merrill Lynch, which is handling the transaction for Statoil, but is unlikely to bid alone. It may seek to partner with an oil distribution company here.
Initial bids for Statoil’s Irish business, which is valued at up to €200m, are due to be lodged by close of business on Friday.
Musgrave already operates about 200 forecourt shops across Ireland, through its SuperValu, Centra and Daybreak symbols, and in the UK, through its Budgens and Londis brands. Statoil operates 236 stations, with stores that range up to 1,500 sq ft in size.
SuperValu and Centra have a 21% share of the €7 billion Irish grocery market.
Irving Oil, a large family-owned company that operates 500 service stations across Canada and New England in America under the Bluecanoe brand, is also believed to have expressed an interest in buying Statoil’s Irish operations.

Posted Date: 
6 March 2006 - 12:07am