7-Eleven Australia Sold to Japanese Parent Company for $1.71 billion

Convenience and petrol retailer 7-Eleven's Australian arm has officially been acquired by its Japanese parent company, Seven & I Holdings. This significant transaction followed a competitive auction process, with key details of the deal now coming to light.

Transaction Snapshot

  • Deal Value: $1.71 billion
  • Valuation multiple: ~8x EBITDA
  • Deal Type: Acquisition.
  • Acquirer: Seven & I Holdings.
  • Founders: The Withers and Barlow families, who have owned the Australian license since 1977.

7-Eleven Australia, renowned for its extensive network of convenience stores and petrol stations, boasts around 750 stores across the country. The company projected an EBITDA of $220 million for the 2023 financial year, maintaining a robust financial performance. This sale marks the exit of the Withers and Barlow families from the 7-Eleven business, a significant shift given their long-standing involvement since acquiring the Australian license in 1977.

The auction for 7-Eleven Australia, managed by Azure Capital and Ashurst, attracted notable interest from ASX-listed fuel distributor and refiner Ampol and US private equity firm Platinum Equity. However, Seven & I Holdings, which already holds the global license for 7-Eleven and receives licensing fees from the Australian operations, ultimately secured the winning bid. The deal was negotiated at approximately 8-times historical EBITDA, indicating a robust valuation of the company.

Advisors played a crucial role in this transaction. Seven & I was advised locally by Nomura Australia's Andrew Macgonigal and Bank of America's Kate Stone, alongside the law firm Baker McKenzie. The Withers and Barlow families were represented by Azure Capital's David Flynn and Ashurst lawyers John Brewster and Brooke Coghlan.

This acquisition underscores the strategic importance of the Australian market for Seven & I Holdings and represents a significant consolidation in the convenience and petrol retail sector. The deal, seen as a triumph in the current challenging market for transactions, closes a chapter for the Withers and Barlow families and prevents 7-Eleven's potential ASX listing, a subject of speculation for years among equity capital markets bankers.

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