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212 news results

19/10/2021

High-quality drop-in biofuels one step closer in New Zealand as Z Energy and Neste announce their collaboration

Kiwi energy company, Z Energy, and the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), Neste, have today announced they will collaborate to bring low-carbon fuels to the New Zealand market.

Renewable fuels are high-quality biofuels. Unlike conventional biofuels, they are considered “drop-in” fuels as they are suitable to be used as such in the existing vehicle or aircraft fleet and distributed via the already available distribution infrastructures thanks to their molecular similarity to conventional fossil fuels. This means that existing diesel vehicles and aircraft can simply fill up with renewable fuels as direct substitutes for fossil-based diesel or aviation fuel.

Neste and Z aim to accelerate a low-carbon future, and to be leaders in providing customers with high-quality, low-carbon transport fuel options. Z and Neste recognise the opportunity to work together in this endeavour in New Zealand, given complementary skills in different parts of the supply chain. The Z and Neste partnership aims to bring the supply of Neste-produced renewable diesel to the New Zealand market over the next few months.

Z’s General Manager Transition, Julian Hughes, says that Z is committed to bringing low-carbon solutions to its customers.

“Z has been an early mover and early investor in biofuels because we recognised it as the simplest way to help our customers lower their emissions without having to replace their fleets.

“This is why we invested in a local biodiesel production plant, and despite a pause in local production, continue to supply biodiesel to our most committed commercial customers.

“Renewable fuels differ from conventional biofuels in that they have the same chemical composition as their fossil counterparts. This enables us to offer higher blends of renewable content in fuels than we could with conventional biofuels, resulting in up to 90%* emissions reduction potential for land transport fuels, and up to 80% emissions reduction potential for aviation fuels” said Julian.

“Following the New Zealand Government’s announcement of increasing support for biofuels through the Low Emissions Transport Fund, Neste has been looking for capable partners in New Zealand to help market our products and solutions and distribute our fuels. Z Energy’s expertise and reach in New Zealand as well as their commitment to decarbonising transport made them the right fit,” said Peter Zonneveld, Vice President, Sales, Neste Renewable Road Transport business unit. “Together, we will support New Zealand in its emission reduction targets”.

A few forward-thinking New Zealand companies are already lining up to use Neste’s renewable fuels. Z believes the sustainable biofuels mandate proposed by the New Zealand government will further increase customer appetite for lower-carbon fuels.

“Z supports the Government’s decision to introduce a biofuels mandate because this will support a market for lower carbon fuels.

“We expect to see more interest from large businesses seeking to reduce their carbon footprint even before a mandate comes into force in 2023.

“If you’re a commercial business serious about your sustainability targets and want to know how renewable diesel or sustainable aviation fuel can dramatically reduce your transport emissions, then please get in touch,” said Julian.

* (The method used to calculate life cycle emissions and emission reduction complies with the EU Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC)

Media enquiries: Kiri Shannon — kiri.shannon@z.co.nz; 021 0234 4157

Investor enquiries: Matt Hardwick — matt.hardwick@z.co.nz027 787 4688

11/10/2021

Z Energy Board unanimously recommends Scheme of Arrangement with Ampol

Z Energy Limited (NZX/ASX: ZEL) (“Z”) has entered into a binding Scheme Implementation Agreement with Ampol Limited (ASX: ALD) (“Ampol”) under which it is proposed that Ampol acquire all the shares of Z by means of a Scheme of Arrangement (“the Scheme”).

Highlights

  • Under the Scheme, Z shareholders would receive a cash offer price of NZ$3.78 per share and will also receive the first NZ$0.05 per share of the interim FY22 dividend without adjusting the cash offer price, resulting in overall value to Z shareholders of NZ$3.83 per share.
  • If the Scheme has not been implemented by 31 March 2022, the final cash consideration will be progressively increased to reflect FY23 performance, up to a limit of NZ$0.10 per share.
  • The Z Board unanimously recommends that shareholders vote in favour of the Scheme, subject to the Scheme consideration being within or above the valuation range specified by the independent advisor and in the absence of a Superior Proposal being made for Z (as defined in the transaction agreement).
  • The Scheme is subject to a number of conditions including regulatory approvals from the New Zealand Commerce Commission (NZCC) and New Zealand Overseas Investment Office (OIO).

Background

On 23 August 2021, Z announced that it had received a proposal from Ampol to acquire all the shares of Z at an offer price of $3.78 per share (subject to adjustment for any dividends paid and a mechanism to increase the Cash Consideration progressively up to a maximum of NZ$0.10 per share if completion occurs after 31 March 2022).

The proposal from Ampol followed earlier unsolicited, confidential and non-binding indicative proposals in the form of letters or verbal communications to Z for $3.35, $3.50 and $3.60 per share.

The Z Board considered that the earlier proposals did not value Z’s business sufficiently to justify the requested exclusivity or confirmatory due diligence access. However, the Board’s assessment of the last proposal was that it would be in the best interests of the company and shareholders to grant Ampol a four-week period of exclusivity (subject to the usual exceptions) to undertake due diligence, to further develop their proposal, and for the parties to negotiate transaction documentation.

On 27 September 2021 Z announced that the exclusivity period had been extended to 11 October 2021 to allow both parties to agree transaction documentation. Z and Ampol have now concluded those negotiations and have entered into a binding scheme implementation agreement (“SIA”).

Details of the Scheme

Under the Scheme, Z shareholders will be entitled to receive NZ$3.78 in cash consideration per share (subject to the adjustments set out below) (“Cash Consideration”).

Z and Ampol have agreed that Z will be entitled to pay dividends in respect of the full or part FY22 financial year reflecting Z’s financial performance during the period up to implementation of the Scheme.

The Scheme terms provide that the first NZ$0.05 per share of the interim FY22 dividend would not be deducted from the final Cash Consideration, which represents additional value for Z shareholders. Any other dividends paid by Z in respect of any full or part FY22 period would be deducted from the final Cash Consideration payable by Ampol.

If the Scheme has not been implemented by 31 March 2022, the final Cash Consideration (after the adjustments mentioned above) will be increased by a rate of NZ$0.00055 per share per day for each day that implementation extends beyond 31 March 2022, up to a limit of NZ$0.10 per share.

Assuming an interim distribution for FY22 of at least NZ$0.05 per share is made in November 2021, the total value derived by Z shareholders under the Scheme will be NZ$3.83 per share before accounting for any increase in cash consideration post 31 March 2022, which represents:

  • a 37.8% premium to the one month volume weighted average price (“VWAP”) up to 28 July 2021 (being Z’s Investor Day) of NZ$2.78 per share; and
  • an increase of NZ$0.48 per share (approximately 14.3%) to Ampol’s initial offer of $3.35 per share.

The Scheme is subject to customary conditions, a condition relating to the transition of the Marsden Point refinery to an import-only terminal, regulatory approvals from NZCC clearance and OIO approval, shareholder approval and ultimately approval by the High Court of New Zealand.

Completion is expected to occur, after regulatory approvals have been obtained, in the first half of 2022. In respect of its New Zealand Commerce Commission clearance application, Ampol has committed to the full divestment of its New Zealand business “Gull”, subject to acquiring Z Energy.

Ampol is also committed to delivering appropriate benefits to New Zealand to support the approval of the transaction by the OIO. The Z Board and management will support Ampol through the necessary regulatory stages with the NZCC and OIO.

Under the SIA, Z is bound by customary exclusivity provisions, subject to the fiduciary obligations of the Z directors and ‘notification’ obligations as well as ‘matching’ rights in favour of Ampol.

A break fee of $20m will be payable by each party in certain circumstances and a regulatory approval break fee of $20m will be payable by Ampol where key regulatory consents are not met within 12 months and the Scheme is terminated.

Ampol has also indicated that it expects to apply for a secondary listing to the NZX Main Board following implementation of the Scheme.

Z Board unanimous recommendation and voting intentions

Z’s Board of Directors unanimously recommend that shareholders vote in favour of the Scheme and intend to vote shares controlled by them in favour of the proposed transaction.

The Z Board of Directors’ recommendation and voting intention is subject to the scheme consideration being within or above the Independent Adviser’s value range, and no superior proposal being received by the company.

Z Energy Chair Abby Foote said, “The Z Board is unanimous in recommending this offer to Z shareholders. The Board has been focussed on the best interest of Z shareholders and has engaged constructively with Ampol over several months to secure additional value beyond the initial approach in June. The Board took the opportunity to obtain feedback from shareholders on the proposal and that has played an important role in finalising the terms of the deal.

The Z Board believes that the scheme represents fair value for Z shareholders. The Board is also satisfied that Ampol will continue to invest in New Zealand’s energy transition towards a low carbon future and its scale will deliver advantages for the fuel industry in New Zealand.”

Mike Bennetts, CEO for Z added, “Z and Ampol share a focus on safe and reliable operations and delivering for our customers. Z will be able to tap into Ampol’s significant supply chain, including trading and shipping operations, that will deliver scale benefits to Z. Ampol’s focus on a low carbon energy future will add expertise to Z’s already well-developed work in this area. In the meantime, Z will stay focused on running the business and delivering on the relevant strategic objectives that we discussed at Z’s Investor Day in July."

Proposed timetable and next steps

A scheme booklet, which will contain important information relating to the Scheme and the shareholder meeting to vote on the Scheme, including the reasons for the Z Director recommendation, and the Independent Adviser’s Report from Calibre Partners (previously KordaMentha NZ), is being prepared to be sent to Z shareholders.

The shareholder meeting to vote on the Scheme is expected to be held early in 2022. Given the need for key regulatory consents to be obtained Ampol is targeting implementation of the Scheme in the first half of 2022.

Z is being advised by Goldman Sachs and Chapman Tripp. Z will continue to keep the market informed in relation to the scheme in line with its continuous disclosure obligations.

At this time Z shareholders do not need to take any action.

Z Energy hosted an investor briefing at 11.00am on Monday 11 October. A replay of the briefing will be made available on Z’s investor centre.

Enquiries: Matt Hardwick — matt.hardwick@z.co.nz027 787 4688

01/10/2021

Z signals intent to participate in the RFP process for Sustainable Aviation Fuel production in NZ

Air New Zealand and MBIE have announced it will look to find an operator for a commercial Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) plant in New Zealand. Their signed Memorandum of Understanding to run a closed RFP process will invite leaders in innovation to demonstrate the feasibility of operating a SAF plant at a commercial scale. Z Energy commends the step and intends to participate in this process.

For Z this is another opportunity to move forward on their journey to a low carbon future, says Z Energy GM Strategy and Risk, Nicolas Williams. “Z is committed to be part of the solution to climate change. We know that the way we're using the planet's resources simply isn't sustainable and we must look for alternative solutions.”

The aviation sector is a big contributor to New Zealand’s overall emissions with five million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent produced in 2018 from domestic and international aviation. While electric, hybrid and hydrogen aircrafts are coming and could work in New Zealand domestically, SAF is the only current option for decarbonising medium and long-haul flights.

“We support and recognise the need for SAF to become the norm in New Zealand. It is part of Z’s roadmap for providing low-emission fuels that can help our customers decarbonize their operation,” says Nicolas.

In 2018 Z began working with industry partners, including Air New Zealand, to identify the near-term pathways (5-10 years) for the viable and sustainable commercialisation of aviation biofuels in New Zealand. Last year, as part of a SAF Consortium, Z worked to develop a Roadmap for SAF to 2050 – which shows that there is a viable pathway for standing up a SAF industry locally.

“Z has consistently advocated for policy that would enable and incentivise the local production of SAF, both as a company as well as part of a consortium. We believe public and private sector collaboration will be vital to driving tangible outcomes in this space, as has been the case for successful SAF production in other countries,” continues Nicolas.

“The use of SAF could reduce aircraft emissions by over 80% for every litre used, and it’s production in New Zealand would create jobs in our regions, benefit our regional and national economies, improve our security of supply and position New Zealand as a science and innovation hub.

“We are excited at the momentum we are now seeing on SAF, particularly with this feasibility study and look forward to responding to the RFP,” says Nicolas.

Media enquiries: Kiri Shannon — kiri.shannon@z.co.nz021 0234 4157

Investor enquiries: Matt Hardwick — matt.hardwick@z.co.nz027 787 4688

22/07/2021

Z launches Rainbow Employee Network

Creating an open inclusive work environment where people can bring their true selves to work each and everyday is an aspiration that many kiwi, and international businesses hope to achieve.

The journey is continuous, there is always another step to take, another opportunity to learn, another chance to embrace what makes each person unique, and in doing so create an environment that is more inclusive than the day before.

At Z, we recognize the journey that we are on, the opportunity we have, and the focus this aspiration deserves as we look to bring our Diversity & Inclusion Stand to life. We are creating a space where our team of nearly 500 can be who they are, through education, conversation and leadership that is driven across the business. 

The Z Rainbow Network — a focus on education and allyship

As the only retail fuel Rainbow Tick accredited organisation, we are proud of our latest step, the launch of our first official internal employee network: the Z Rainbow Network. With a focus on increasing understanding, engagement and awareness of rainbow diversity, it aims to help create more visible leaders who identify as a member of the rainbow community or ally across Z.  

Increasing understanding is crucial as this is not a tick the box exercise. In launching the Z Rainbow Network, we request that all employees who wish to be recognized as visible members (while still making available to all), complete a series of modules and workshops provided by the Rainbow Tick, along with understanding our own internal polices (including Transitioning at work) so that they are empowered to support rainbow colleagues.  

It also gives us the chance to bring the conversation to life throughout the year rather than just at key traditional moments. We know that inclusiveness and diversity is not timebound to a day, a week, a month, it is a part of who we are each and everyday and that is what we at Z want to recognise and celebrate.  

Expanding beyond rainbow 

This launch also represents the beginning of future internal employee networks as it has given us the chance to understand what an ally is within Z. We’ve created a base level of behaviour and leadership expectations that will set Z up to launch future networks with the greatest chance of success –  this is merely the beginning of a journey where we will actively learn side by side with our employees everyday. 

Through continued focus, governance and support, the Z Rainbow Network is a significant opportunity to further demonstrate inclusion in action. It confirms to current and future employees that we are actively committed to making a difference and welcoming you for who you are.

Media enquiries: jeremy.clarke@z.co.nz

03/05/2021

Z Energy and NZ Police team up to keep Kiwis safe on roads over Queen’s Birthday Weekend

Z has partnered with Police to encourage drivers to stay safe over the long weekend with road safety messages to be displayed on Z Espress coffee cups at select locations for the duration of the holiday period.

Police officers may also pop into Z service stations to give drivers a friendly reminder about making good driving decisions.

Z’s Head of Safety and Wellbeing Andrew Shand says that Z is committed to supporting the Road to Zero initiative, which aims to stop people getting killed or injured on New Zealand roads.

“We’re proud to partner with Police on encouraging all motorists to stay safe on the road as they travel around Aotearoa, particularly over busy holiday periods. We have a number of our team on the road on any given day, including fuel delivery drivers, and we want to ensure that they, along with any other motorist can return home safely at the end of each day.”

Superintendent Steve Greally, Director: National Road Policing Centre says that partnerships are an important way to spread the word.

“These partnerships allow Police to reach drivers in a new way, allowing our road safety messages to get right to the ones we are targeting.

“Getting out in the community sharing prevention messages is a great way of minimising harm on the roads. We want everyone to have a good weekend and enjoy their Queen’s Birthday plans, and of course to be safe,” says Steve.

The messages to be displayed on Z Espress coffee cups are:

  • Slow down and drive to the conditions
  • Always wear your seatbelt
  • Don’t drive distracted.

Media enquiries: Victoria.crockford@z.co.nz

 

01/04/2021

Z Energy wishes Kiwi charities a Happy Easter with the launch of Z Business for Charities fuel programme

Z Energy is wishing a Happy Easter to its charity customers, with the launch of Z Business for Charities.

The programme offers 10 cents off every litre in over 550 locations, a $100 fuel credit and a free St John First Aid Kit on sign up, no minimum spend and no monthly fees.

Z’s GM Commercial, Nicola Law says that Z Business for Charities was evolved from conversations with community groups.

“When we spoke with community groups, they shared their passion for their people and what they do, as well as some of the challenges they face when it comes to their more functional needs, like managing fuel spend.

“We also learned that a big part of their success is partnering with their volunteers and companies to create as much positive impact as possible.

“We heard all of this and decided that Z could help. The Z Business for Charities offer not only helps to streamline how community groups manage their fuel, it also puts more money back in their pockets and back into communities.”

New Zealand registered charities that wish to join or find out more can do so by visiting business.z.co.nz/business-charity.

Media enquiries: Victoria.crockford@z.co.nz

10/03/2021

Z Energy launches Z Electric, brings innovation and energy expertise to retail electricity market

Z Energy is bringing its innovation and energy expertise to the retail electricity market by launching Z Electric, a new power offer that will be supported by subsidiary, Flick Electric*.

Z Electric offers New Zealand’s first electricity and fuel rewards bundle with no fixed-term contracts and no exit fees.

Z Electric will offer customers the chance to get their electricity from a New Zealand-owned company that offers regular fuel rewards through Z’s award-winning virtual fuel tank, Sharetank in Z App, and – unlike many other companies – rewards them more the longer they are a customer.

Z’s Chief Innovation Officer, Scott Bishop said that Z Electric is a power offer that is all about being relevant to the daily lives of New Zealanders now and into the electric future. 

“We know we need to use less fossil fuels wherever possible. But for many people, their options are currently limited to petrol and diesel to get around, do their jobs and take care of their whānau. That’s why we wanted to offer a power deal that helps people with their everyday lives and budgets, but without the fixed term contracts and catches of other offers. 

“With Z Electric, customers get the benefit of fuel rewards through Sharetank in Z App as soon as they join and on an ongoing basis, and they can leave at any time without an exit fee. What’s more, Sharetank enables customers to share their fuel rewards with up to five people so their friends and whānau can benefit. 

“With Z Electric, we want to learn from our customers about how we can best support them as we all head into the electric future that we know is coming. We aim to meet them wherever they are along the way with real options to solve what matters for them in a low carbon moving world,” said Scott.

Learn more about Z Electric

*Z Energy is a majority shareholder in Flick Electric.

Media enquiries: Victoria.crockford@z.co.nz

08/03/2021

The Gender Tick at Z Energy: "Something to stand behind"

In a world where there are stars, marks, and checks for almost every facet of life, why is it important to get a big tick for gender equity?

In 2018 the YWCA Auckland launched accreditation programme Gender Tick for businesses to demonstrate their commitment to gender equity in their workplace. It came about after New Zealand companies showed a genuine interest in what they could do to have a healthy workplace culture.

Z Energy was interested in ‘walking the talk’, in showing others outside the organisation some of its work and painting a picture of what it holds as important. Z received the Gender Tick in March 2020.

“It’s about organisations not just preaching but practising,” says Z’s Head of Employee Experience Sharne Fairbrother.

Those factors vital to receiving the Gender Tick – a gender inclusive culture, flexibility and leave, women in leadership, gender pay equity and ensuring a safe workplace – were consistent with what Z is already committed to. But the importance of an independent eye on things was key to getting the word out that Z was so much more than a box checker.

“It’s about showing those outside Z, whether it be potential employees or customers, that we are doing what is right, and we have something to stand behind.”

Sharne emphasises the need to spread the word outside Z that gender equality matters to the organisation. Almost every person has to visit Z or one of its competitors, so there is a huge variety of people visiting the stations and reflecting that customer base in the organisation’s staff makes perfect sense.

“Z represents Aotearoa/New Zealand. We are a New Zealand company, and our customers are a cut of the New Zealand population,” she says.

“The best way to equip ourselves to give great customer and employee experience is to be as diverse as our customer base.”

Sharne says if gender equality really matters at Z, the organisation has to show that right across our organisation, especially in visible leadership roles.

Z’s Board of Directors has Abby Foote at the helm as its Independent Chair and an even split of men and women on its executive team.

International research has shown women are disproportionately affected by the drastic changes forced by COVID-19. Changes at home, as well as in the workforce, have taken a hefty toll.

Sharne says Z has always held flexibility as especially important, particularly for employees.

“It’s more important than ever. We have amped up the flexibility factor and remain open to talking about what that might look like.”

International Women’s Day is on March 8. This year’s theme, Choose to Challenge, celebrates the efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and encourages celebrations of women’s achievements, as well as the calling out of gender bias and inequality where it exists.

The positives of gender diversity in the workplace have been extensively researched and range from different approaches and life experiences to lower staff turnover, improved reputation, and greater resilience for a business.

And time after time the numbers tell the story of greater profitability for a business with gender diversity. The positive impact on the bottom line is beyond doubt.

Leading diversity and inclusion practitioner Dr Kaisa Wilson co-founded Gender Tick with the YWCA and manages the assessment side of it.

Equality is what you need at the core of having a healthy and well workforce, she says.

“The foundational aspects of wellbeing are fundamental human rights. If, in your job, you are being paid differently or marginalised or treated differently, your wellbeing is at risk.”

It is particularly relevant now, with the impacts of COVID-19 hitting women especially hard.

She says the Gender Tick is good for organisations, giving them a really practical schedule to make their way through to ensure what they are doing is right around gender responsiveness in their organisation.

“We want information about which organisations are putting their money where their mouth is.”

A reaccreditation process every 18 months also keeps Gender Tick organisations on their toes, and watchful for new criteria to step up to.

If a consumer is deciding on which product to buy, seeing a logo such as the Gender Tick alongside an organisation’s branding can offer a ‘shortcut’ to helping make a choice.

“The time for making incremental change and patting on the back over small gains is over,” Kaisa says.

“We’re about action and outcomes. It’s about what gets done, not what gets talked about.”

Sharne says Z is more than happy to keep on doing, letting its actions do the talking.

Media enquiries: Victoria.crockford@z.co.nz

04/03/2021

Z Energy announces changes to executive team and appoints new GM Commercial

Z Energy pleased to announce several changes to its executive team, effective the beginning of Z’s next financial year, 1 April 2021.

Creation of new GM Transition role

In a formalisation of Z’s commitment to being at the heart of the energy transition, Julian Hughes, currently GM Strategy and Risk, will be taking on a new role as GM Transition reporting to Z’s Chief Executive Mike Bennetts.

“Julian’s role will be to review the business case for reinstating safe and reliable production operations at Te Kora Hou, Z’s Biofuel plant, while establishing an alternative biofuels supply chain in support of recent government announcement of a biofuels mandate,” said Mike.

Julian will also be focused on securing the value available from optimising Z’s core business and preparing for the potential move to an import-only fuels supply chain in support of Refining NZ’s ongoing strategic review.

Nicolas (Nic) Williams has been appointed to the role of GM Strategy and Risk, replacing Julian Hughes.

Commenting on the appointment, Mike Bennetts said, “The scale of the challenge to decarbonise New Zealand’s energy sector, and how Z can meaningfully support NZ’s

ambitions to meet the Paris 2050 climate goals, will require us to think differently about
our strategy.”

“That longer term thinking needs to be matched by work on our current core business; ensuring we execute and optimise Z’s core business activity to generate the free cash flow needed to support in New Zealand’s ambition for a low-carbon energy future.

Given Nic’s investment banking background, commercial acumen and operational risk experience he is ideally suited to lead Z’s strategy and risk teams,” Mike added.

Nicola Law appointed new GM Commercial

Z is pleased to announce that Nicola Law, currently Z’s Integrated Supply Chain Manager, has been appointed to the role of GM Commercial, replacing Nic Williams.

“I am delighted to appoint Nicola to the GM Commercial role. Her breadth of experience and the diversity of thought that she will bring to the executive team made her the stand-out candidate for the role,” said Mike.

Nicola has held several roles during her seven-year career at Z including Commercial Aviation and Marine Manager and worked on several special projects, including the acquisition of Chevron NZ, the Fuel Market Study and the development of Pumped, Z’s loyalty and rewards program launched in August 2019.

Prior to joining Z Nicola spent nine years at bp in varied roles including Regional Operations Manager based in Perth, Western Australia, responsible for the safe and reliable operation of the company’s seven terminals in the state.

Nicola’s appointment achieves another milestone for Z – gender parity on the Executive team – and continues to progress the company’s ambition to nurture a pipeline of women leaders in the company and in New Zealand.

Media enquiries: Victoria.crockford@z.co.nz

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