Ampol appoints Halliday as captain of refining giant

AMPOL, formerly Caltex, has appointed Matthew Halliday as permanent chief executive and managing director, cementing his position following the retirement of Julian Segal earlier this year.
Ampol appoints Halliday as captain of refining giant Ampol appoints Halliday as captain of refining giant Ampol appoints Halliday as captain of refining giant Ampol appoints Halliday as captain of refining giant Ampol appoints Halliday as captain of refining giant

Paul Hunt

Senior Journalist: Energy & Commodities

Paul Hunt

It has been a busy year for Ampol already as it considers its future direction after the demand destruction for refined products wrought by the pandemic. It has currently shuttered its only refinery Lytton, and the company is using the time to conduct maintenance and work programs. 

The Australian refining and fuel retailing giant slashed spending in April by A$50 million and closed its only refinery citing fuel demand falls due to COVID-19 which grounded airline fleets, and left cars quiet in garages.

Matthew Halliday joined then-Caltex as CFO last April and was named interim CEO this March. 

Since his first appointment, the company has retained a strong balance sheet, despite fuel sales declining drastically and a takeover offer from Canadian business Alimentation Couche-Tard falling through. 

 

"Matthew has done an outstanding job as Interim CEO through a period of unprecedented disruption and demand destruction following the onset of COVID-19, taking strong action to protect our assets and market-leading position, optimise cashflows," Ampol chairperson Steven Gregg said.  

"I am confident that his skills, knowledge of the business and track record over the last year position him well to succeed." 

Couche-Tard had launched a bid to takeover Caltex in November, then upgraded its offer twice, with a very large premium, but then walked away thanks to market conditions. Its refused offer represented a very large premium to the target's decimated share price when it walked away. 

It said it may reconsider a takeover offer in the future. 

The latest data from the Australian government, released mid-month, showed aviation fuel refining and subsequent sales of jet fuel had fallen dramatically over May, reflecting the serious troubles airliners face with fleets unable to fly. 

The federal Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources published its Australian Petroleum Statistics reporting over the 30-day period of May only 82.1 megalitres of aviation fuel was refined and produced in Australia, a whopping 65% decrease on the month of March. 

It is the lowest level of aviation fuel refined in Australian history since records began.

 
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