Viva secures ACCC nod to acquire stake Liberty Oil’s wholesale business

first_imgViva Energy’s proposed acquisition involves only the wholesale business of Liberty, while it will continue to hold 50% interest in the Liberty’s retail businesses Image: Viva Energy’s proposed acquisition involves only the wholesale business of Liberty. Photo: Courtesy of Akshay93 from Pixabay. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that it will not oppose the Viva Energy Australia’s proposed acquisition of the remaining 50% interest in Liberty Oil Holdings wholesale business.Viva Energy Australia is a wholly owned firm of Viva Energy Group, and is engaged in refining and importing wholesale and retail supply of fuel products.The wholesale operations of the company include supply to fuel retailers, distributors, independent service stations, commercial customers and rural customers, and retail operations include Coles Express/Shell co-branded sites and Shell branded Viva company sites and dealer sites.ACCC Commissioner Stephen Ridgeway said: “Retailers told us that there are alternative wholesale suppliers and alternative brands they could switch to. We consider that, post-acquisition, the threat of fuel retailers switching to an alternative supplier is likely to constrain Viva’s wholesale prices and supply terms.”“In metropolitan Adelaide, most Liberty branded sites are dealer sites, where Liberty does not set the price. The share of Liberty branded sites is relatively low and there are other retailers in Adelaide that are likely to constrain city-wide prices, such as United and X Convenience. Therefore, price increases from this proposed acquisition are unlikely.”Both Viva and Liberty handle wholesale and retail business of fuel productsViva Energy’s proposed acquisition involves only the wholesale business of Liberty, while Viva’s continues to hold 50% interest in the Liberty’s retail businesses.The competition regulator found that the proposed acquisition would not reflect in reducing competition in the wholesale supply of fuel products.ACCC has also considered the consequences of the proposed acquisition on competition in the retail supply of fuel products in metropolitan Adelaide and Melbourne and in local areas across the country.The ACCC concluded that in most of the local areas where Liberty retail sites overlap with Viva retail sites, including Coles Express sites, adequate competition would remain after the acquisition.Ridgeway added: “In metropolitan Melbourne, another city where Liberty branded sites operate, Liberty has a very small share of retail sites. The proposed acquisition is therefore unlikely to have a significant impact. We identified potential competition concerns regarding some local areas. The merger parties provided further information or implemented changes which addressed our concerns.”last_img read more

France’s Total to sell Lindsey refinery to Prax Group

first_imgThe transaction includes the sale of the facility’s associated logistic assets, all related rights as well as all of the related rights and obligation The Lindsey refinery has an annual production capacity of 5.4 million tonnes. (Credit: SatyaPrem/Pixabay) French oil major Total has agreed to sell the Lindsey refinery to a UK-based petroleum products company Prax Group.The financial details of the transaction are not disclosed by the company.The deal includes the sale of the facility’s associated logistic assets, all related rights as well as all of the related rights and obligation.The refinery, which is located in Immingham (Lincolnshire) in England, has an annual production capacity of 5.4 million tonnes.Total Refining and Chemicals president Bernard Pinatel said: “This transaction is in line with our forward-looking strategy for Total’s European refining base, which involves focusing our investments on integrated refining and petrochemical platforms.“After considering several options for the future of the Lindsey site, Total chose the one that best protects local jobs.”Once the conditions of the sale have been satisfied, the deal is expected to be concluded by the end of the year.Total and IOC JV will set up manufacturing units across IndiaAdditionally, the company has announced the formation of a 50:50 joint venture (JV) company with Indian Oil Corp (IOC) to provide bitumen derivatives.The JV will set up manufacturing units across India and market bitumen derivatives as well as the specialty products for the road construction industry in India.The specialty products include polymer-modified bitumen, crumb rubber modified bitumen, bitumen emulsions and other specialty products.Total said that the new entity will also explore the possibilities to cater to other South Asian markets.IndianOil chairman Shrikant Madhav Vaidya said: “This would cater to B2B customers involved in road infrastructure development, both in the government and private sectors and I am confident that this would start a revolution in road construction activities in the country by providing superior technology products at competitive prices.”Recently, Total announced securing $14.9bn financing for the $20bn LNG project in northern Mozambique.last_img read more

Horizon begins infill drilling at block 22/12, Beibu Gulf, China

first_img The two wells will tie into existing facilities. (Credit: Pixabay/Keri Jackson.) Horizon, an Australian oil and gas company, has announced the launch of drilling operations at two infill wells located in Weizhou 6-12 fields of block 22/12, Beibu Gulf in China.The two well infill drilling operations target undeveloped reserves in WZ6-12 area, including the WZ6-12-A11 well into the producing WZ6-12 North field and the WZ6-12 A3S2 well into last year’s WZ6-12 M1 discovery.The company claims that the two wells have a capacity of 0.3MMbbl and 0.2MMbbl respectively.Both the wells are being drilled from the existing WZ6-12 platform with one well side-tracked from an existing wellbore and the other is being drilled from a recently completed rig slot extension.The two wells will tie into existing facilities and could add a combined output of about 1,900 bopd gross to the existing WZ6-12 production facility.According to Horizon, the wells are also expected to provide valuable reservoir data to determine production and reservoir performance in both the WZ6-12 N and WZ6-12 M1 oil pools.The company’s share of capital costs for the infill drilling programme is expected to be $5m, which the company will fund internally from its existing cash reserves and field production revenue.The participants in the block 22/12 include CNOOC as the operator with 51% stake, followed by Horizon with 26.95% stake, Roc Oil with 19.6% and Majuko with 2.45% stakes.In November last year, Horizon announced that the WZ 6‐12 M1 exploration well in Beibu Gulf was drilled to the target depth of 2025mMD.The company said that the well reached its objectives of drilling through the Oligocene‐aged Weizhou T30 to T32 sands, as planned. The infill well drilling by Horizon at WZ6-12 area targets undeveloped reserveslast_img read more

Eni signs a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation with Zhejiang Energy

first_img Eni signs a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation with Zhejiang Energy. (Credit: Free-Photos from Pixabay.) Eni and Zhejiang Energy signed today a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on strategic cooperation in the energy sector.The MoU establishes a cooperation framework aimed at facilitating joint initiatives between Eni and Zhejiang Energy across the gas and LNG value chain in China and internationally. The MoU builds on the companies’ shared goal of promoting a reduction in emissions by favoring a switch from coal to gas in the production of electricity. The initiatives identified in the MoU range from developing long term LNG supply agreement to joint participation in gas/LNG projects.Using gas to produce electricity instead of coal reduces by as much as half the greenhouse gas emissions of a power plant, providing an immediate step forward in decarbonizing the sector.For Eni, the MoU represents a further step in the energy transition process. The company has recently launched a new strategy, which will lead the company to be carbon neutral by 2050, in all its operations, processes and products. In the long term, gas – which will be increasingly decarbonized – will represent more than 90% of Eni’s production.Eni has been present in China since 1984 and has recently established a new Representative Office in Beijing. Source: Company Press Release The agreement establishes a framework for the two companies to work together in the gas and LNG sector in China and abroadlast_img read more

Housing industry welcome Chancellor’s boost for homebuyers

first_imgFirst-time property purchasers saving for a deposit will be given a 25 per cent financial top up from the Government, George Osborne (right)  announced in last week’s Budget statement, much to the delight of many property professionals.Many industry experts are pleased that the Chancellor has recognised the need to provide yet more support for homebuyers by announcing the launch of a Help to Buy ISA later this year.Whilst the operational details still need to be finalised, in principle the scheme will provide an important financial incentive for first-time buyers, helping many people achieve the goal of owning their own home.“Combined with the extension of Help to Buy and measures introduced in the Autumn statement to reform Stamp Duty Land Tax with a fairer system, this should provide further positive stimulus for the wider housing market,” said Chris Endsor, Chief Executive of Miller Homes.Nicholas Leeming (left), Chairman of Jackson-Stops & Staff, with 44 offices nationwide, also welcomed the announcement of a new Help to Buy ISA in last week’s Budget.He commented, “Any help to incentivise the young to save money and enable them to get on the property ladder has to be welcomed. We look forward to seeing more detail on this as it emerges.”Around 83,000 households have so far purchased a home through the Help to Buy scheme and there is no doubt it has had a positive, “if modest”, impact on transaction volumes over the last two to three years, according to Liam Bailey (right), Global Head of Research at Knight Frank.He said, “The new Help to Buy ISA is likely to be another support for first-time buyers. However, we do not expect the impact to lead to a substantial number of new transactions, and is very unlikely to influence pricing in the market.”Describing the policy as a “crowd-pleasing move”, Brian Murphy, Head of Lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), said, “first-time buyers will welcome the measure, but in many cases, their next step will be to ask which of the many schemes and incentives on offer is the best suited to their needs?”Adam Challis, Head of Residential Research at JLL, believes that housing remains a “low priority” for Government, as reflected by the pre-Election Budget statement, as it is not a part of the “winning election ticket.”He said, “No party has a clear plan either on how to boost housing supply for the long-term – we need cross-party solutions to drive supply and an end to the politicisation of homeownership. With build rates at barely half current need the long terms solutions for the supply crisis are more important now than ever.“The Help to Buy ISA for first time buyers can only be seen as a positive step, encouraging prudent saving at a time when savings rates available for building a deposit are currently very poor. High house price growth means savings still won’t keep up with deposit requirements. This measure is unlikely to have a significant impact on broader house price growth.”News of the First-Time Buyer ISA announced in the 2015 Budget is not as radical as it may initially seem, according to Richard Donnell (left), Research Director at residential property analysts Hometrack.“Intended to help young first time buyers build up a deposit to buy a home in the next few years, rather than those who are close to saving a full deposit and seeking a quick tax gain, the scheme will have greatest impact outside of London and the South East,” said Bailey.He added, “While the incentive offers an overall boost to first time buyers, the market impact will be limited and spread out over time. A maximum bonus of £3,000 limits Government support to deposits of £15,000, which is enough to buy a £150,000 property with a 10 per cent deposit or £300,000 for a couple who are both using the ISA. As with all Government support for housing, it is aimed at reaching the parts of the market that are lower value and where demand has been generally weaker.”Aside from a new Help-To-Buy ISA savings account, there was some other headline housing-related measures announced in last week’s Budget statement. These included the confirmed introduction of 20 housing zones across the UK, the extension of eight enterprise zones and creation of two more (in Plymouth and Blackpool), new funding for the London Land Commission to help boost housing supply, as well as greater planning powers for the London Mayor Boris Johnson over 50 riverside wharves currently operated by Whitehall, also designed to increase house building in London.25% financial top up budget statement first-time buyers March 25, 2015The NegotiatorWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Housing industry welcome Chancellor’s boost for homebuyers previous nextRegulation & LawHousing industry welcome Chancellor’s boost for homebuyersThe Government’s decision to give first-time buyers a 25 per cent financial top up has been broadly welcomed by the property industry.25th March 20150548 Viewslast_img read more

Modular construction begins

first_imgIs this the future of building homes? Quite possibly. Modular construction is underway in a Shropshire factory to create a development of 249 homes for rent in south London.Essential Living, a developer and operator of homes for rent, has announced an exclusive partnership with Elements Europe, a modular specialist, to deliver its Creekside Wharf scheme in Greenwich.It is one the first build-to-rent schemes being built this way and each module can be completed within seven days.Elements has a decade’s experience creating hotels, housing for sale and purpose built student housing and these new homes will be built at their 200,000 sq ft Telford factory, sending 632 modules to Creekside Wharf – at a rate of 20 a week – from February 2017.The steel-framed modules will fit around the scheme’s concrete core. This gives the project lateral stability while the stacked modules carry its weight back to the ground – exactly the same as a conventional office block.Elements uses traditional construction methods in a controlled factory environment where 60 per cent of the total work is carried out. It will halve the time spent on site to 32 weeks.23 storeys tall, Creekside Wharf will be one of the tallest modular buildings in the UK.modular building Modular construction new housing development in London new rental homes Creekshide Wharf October 28, 2016The NegotiatorWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » Land & New Homes » Modular construction begins previous nextLand & New HomesModular construction beginsThe Negotiator28th October 20160588 Viewslast_img read more

Currell opens in Hackney Wick Fish Island

first_imgLondon-based residential and commercial agency Currell opened a new Hackney Wick Fish Island (HWFI) office in November. The office is centrally located in Hackney Wick at 61-63 Wallis Road, within the London Legacy Development Corporation area.In addition to selling and letting properties within Hackney Wick and Fish Island, the Currell HWFI office will also serve surrounding areas such as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (QEOP), Stratford and Leyton.The HWFI area, which lies directly to the west of the Olympic Park, is undergoing a metamorphosis into a vibrant mixed use neighbourhood; ex-industrial buildings and sites are being transformed into new homes and workspaces. It is predicted that by 2025, there will be over 5,000 new homes.Currell is the first established agent to open an office in the area. Group CEO Anne Currell said, “Our Hackney Wick Fish Island office is a natural extension of our very strong position in East London. In the nineties Hackney Wick and Fish Island had the largest number of artists’ studios in Europe, sitting alongside industrial buildings.“I have lived in Hackney for over 30 years and have a passion for art, so we want to be part of the story of Hackney Wick and Fish Island; to see new homes created whilst retaining the artistic fabric of the area.”Hackney Wick Fish Island HWFI Currell January 16, 2018The NegotiatorWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » Agencies & People » Currell opens in Hackney Wick Fish Island previous nextAgencies & PeopleCurrell opens in Hackney Wick Fish IslandThe Negotiator16th January 201801,195 Viewslast_img read more

Sunnier outlook! Countrywide revises previously gloomy earnings predictions upwards

first_imgHome » News » Agencies & People » Sunnier outlook! Countrywide revises previously gloomy earnings predictions upwards previous nextAgencies & PeopleSunnier outlook! Countrywide revises previously gloomy earnings predictions upwardsBritain’s biggest estate agency says first half of year hasn’t been as bad as expected as sales pipeline improves, but debt refinancing has been delayed.Nigel Lewis24th July 201801,838 Views Countrywide has rushed out news of better-than-expected earnings for the first six months of the year, two days ahead of its interim results due on Thursday.Last month its share price took another tumble when it revealed attempts to halve its debt through equity financing. It also said earnings for the first six months of the year would be £20 million lower than expected.The debt refinancing is now taking place but proving more difficult than envisaged. Countrywide originally planned to announce a new structure for its £192 million debt this week. But this has now pushed this forward to early August.Countrywide debt“The company is continuing to engage in constructive dialogue with its lending banks and its shareholders,” the statement says.Countrywide’s initial outlook for the first half of 2018 appears to have been too pessimistic. The company says that, although earnings will still be down on last year, its results have been “slightly better”.“The Group has made significant progress in building back industry expertise and staffing levels in sales and lettings and has seen an increase in the register of properties available for sale and the pipeline of agreed sales,” the statement says.Countrywide says it expects business to improve during the rest of this year. The second half has been traditionally been its strongest, plus help is at hand from robust performances within its surveying and financial services operations.interim results bairstow eves Countrywide debt restructuring July 24, 2018Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

Purplebricks launches in Canada but with directly-employed agents

first_imgPurplebricks has launched in Canada despite saying it would not be introducing its brand to the country following the purchase of local hybrid agency DuProprio in July last year for £29.3 million.But DuProprio’s Chief Operating officer Lukas Lhotsky appeared on Canadian TV over the weekend dressed in a purple branded shirt (see above) and was subtitled as its in-country CEO.During his interview with Canada’s CityNews TV channel, Lhotsky made familiar claims that Purplebricks would save vendors ‘tens of thousands’ of dollars via a flat upfront fee of $800 for a listing on Canada’s Rightmove equivalent Realtor.ca.This includes taking photos and help with pricing, although it charges an extra $400 for viewings and $1,900 for a negotiation service.In Canada vendors traditionally pay a commission of 5% on the sale of a property.Flat feeLhotsky took the camera crew on a tour of Purplebricks’ new offices in Toronto and revealed that, unlike in the UK, its agents would be directly employed and be paid a flat fee for each sale achieved.The TV show also claimed that Purplebricks agents in Canada are expected to sell 280 homes a year.But it was also revealed that Purplebricks has been operating for some months under the radar; one property vendor interviewed said she has already sold two homes via the business.The Purplebricks.ca site is live and it says the business covers four key Canadian provinces; Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia, offering vendors a $2,000 cash-back if they sign up to use its service. purpelbricks Lukas Lhotsky canada January 21, 2019Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » Agencies & People » Purplebricks launches in Canada but with directly-employed agents previous nextAgencies & PeoplePurplebricks launches in Canada but with directly-employed agentsDespite initially saying it wouldn’t, Purplebricks has launched its brand in Canada although without the usual City investor update.Nigel Lewis21st January 201902,398 Viewslast_img read more

Boris: day two of the new job and estate agency leaders are on his case

first_imgDay two of his new job and Boris Johnson is already besieged by well intentioned advice from the property sector. After a seemingly endless interlude between Mrs May resigning and the new Mr Johnson being voted in as the new Tory leader, the property world is keen to get his attention – particularly when the subject is Stamp Duty – or SDLT – which is blamed by many property professionals for being a deterrent to those who would like to move home.Guy Gittins, Managing Director of Chestertons, says that the implications for the housing market remain to be seen, “Boris Johnson was more vocal on housing issues during the campaign trail than his opponent, and all eyes will now be on what policy initiatives are taken forward and who Johnson assembles in his cabinet.“During his Tory leadership campaign, Johnson hinted that one of his priorities as Prime Minister will be supporting homeownership and that his housing policy is likely to be shaped around shake-ups to Stamp Duty. His proposed Stamp Duty exemption for all property sales under £500,000 is intended to boost market activity and would certainly be a significant win for buyers of properties under this threshold.  However, the degree to which this would stimulate the market is debatable as affordability is the greatest obstacle, especially for first-time buyers, who are already exempt from Stamp Duty on purchases below £300,000. Any significant increase in activity might fuel house price inflation, especially if – as is likely – supply of properties on the market remains low.”Lisa Simon, Head of Residential, Carter Jonas, is cautiously optimistic, “Providing no general election is to be called and the pound does not bounce, there is an overarching optimism that Boris Johnson’s proposed reforms will inject some life, and much needed momentum, back into the property market.“Johnson has been vocal on being prepared to leave without a deal at the end of October, and the very thought of this has been an ongoing concern amongst our clients. That said, one eventuality that could leave prime pockets of the market feeling more unsettled is the potential of Number 10 opening its doors to a Corbyn government. Without being able to rule out the possibility of a general election – and thus a Labour administration – at this stage, speculation will continue to stunt the top end of the market under Johnson’s leadership, with a small handful of clients still deeming the risk too high at this moment in time.INHOUS co-founder and Managing Director, David Johnson, added,  “We have already seen the impact of this off the back of Boris Johnson’s initial statement on slashing stamp duty rates. When he came out with this statement, a number of the luxury properties that we had been monitoring for our clients received some strong offers submitted to purchase them. And on some occasions, we noticed multiple buyers bidding for the same properties – some of these properties being on the market for well over 12 months. These buyers are clearly trying to secure properties now off the back of Boris Johnson’s indication of slashing Stamp Duty levels.“Now that Boris has been formally announced as the next Prime Minister, I would not be surprised to see a surge in prime properties being secured by buyers with a delayed completion for September – in the hope of the lower stamp duty rates coming into effect by then.”Stamp duty Boris Johnson PM guy gittins Lisa Simon INHOUS Boris Johnson sdlt Carter Jonas Sheila Manchester Chestertons stamp duty David Johnson July 25, 2019The NegotiatorWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » Boris: day two of the new job and estate agency leaders are on his case previous nextRegulation & LawBoris: day two of the new job and estate agency leaders are on his caseA shake up of Stamp Duty is overdue, says the property industry – and it could re-energise the property market.Sheila Manchester25th July 201901,309 Viewslast_img read more