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Bp to buy woolworths petrol outlets for 18b

CALTEX Australia says it is disappointed its fuel supply alliance with Woolworths will end after losing out to oil major BP in the battle to buy the supermarket giant’s petrol stations.

Caltex said on Wednesday it believed its bid for the Woolworths service stations business represented full and fair value, and the company had to exercise financial discipline in pursuing growth.

Caltex said its 3.5 billion litre wholesale fuel supply arrangement with Woolworths will remain in place until the BP deal is finalised.

Caltex shares were down 1.2 per cent at $30.22 at 10.45am

Woolworths and BP will develop a joint fuel convenience store called Metro at BP after the retailer struck a deal to sell its petrol stations to the oil and gas multinational for $1.79 billion.

BP has agreed to buy Woolworths 527 fuel convenience store outlets and 16 development sites.

The deal with BP ends the ambitions of fuel retailer Caltex, which had made an offer to buy the Woolworths service stations.

Under the deal Woolworths four cents per litre fuel discount offer and customer rewards programs will be maintained and expanded to some BP stations.

Woolworths chief executive Brad Banducci said the Metro at BP concept will be trialled at pilot sites and, if successful, will be rolled out at up to 200 BP convenience stores across the country.

It will result in Woolworths having a larger platform for our redemption and reward program, as well as providing us with a unique opportunity to partner with and draw on BPs success in rolling out market-leading convenience food offers globally, Mr Banducci said in an announcement to the ASX.

BP Australia president Andy Holmes said his company had already experienced success in similar strategic partnerships around the world, including with Marks & Spencer in the UK and REWE in Germany.

This new partnership is great news for all Australian consumers, who will in future be able to enjoy the combination of BPs premium fuels, a world class convenience food offer and an enhanced loyalty program, Mr Holmes said.

Mr Banducci said while a number of parties had expressed interest in the fuel business, BPs offer met Woolworths long-term goals and offered better shareholder value.

Woolworths said the proceeds from the sale would be used to strengthen its balance sheet and reinvest in the core supermarkets business. The deal will need approval by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission as well as the Foreign Investment Review Board.

It is expected to be completed no earlier than January 2, 2018, with Woolworths existing Caltex co-branded sites continuing to operate in the interim.

Woolworths supermarket has launched a new concept convenience store in Sydney's CBD

Brazen law graduate convicted for posing as a solicitor to appeal

A YOUNG law graduate from the Gold Coast convicted of posing as a solicitor says he was only following orders and will lodge an appeal.

Jacob Lazar Reichman was fined $1500, ordered to pay $4000 in costs and had a conviction recorded in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

Its the second time the 24-year-old has been charged with engaging in legal practice when not entitled, having pleaded guilty to a similar charge in 2014 after being caught out on Instagram.

That charge related to his time as a work experience student in 2011, when Reichman blamed his Attention Deficit Disorder and desire to impress his family for the lapse in judgment.

In 2014, the court then examined Reichmans social media accounts, which revealed that he had posted screen-grabs of himself acting in a legal capacity on Channel 9 News on Facebook and LinkedIn, plus Instagram images with the hashtags: #lawyer, #younglawyer and #criminallawyers, the Courier Mail reports.

Reichman, who is now in his sixth year of employment as a legal clerk with Gold Coast barrister Chris Rosser, said this new conviction could prevent him becoming a lawyer and vowed to appeal.

Law graduates must complete additional qualifications before they can practice as solicitors, and criminal convictions may prevent them from being admitted to practice.

I feel unjustly targeted in this case as I was simply doing as my employer told me to do, I never had my own clients nor did I set up my own firm, Reichman said in a statement.

Whilst I respect the courts ruling, the present advice from my experienced legal representatives is that I must appeal this decision to a higher court to obtain a just result.

Magistrate Noel Nunan said Reichman was brazen to again act as a solicitor after hed been fined $1000 two years ago.

He did not believe a conviction would preclude Reichman from becoming a lawyer and even praised him for his work during interviews, saying: It looked like he was doing a reasonable job during all of these interviews.

Theres a lot of incompetent solicitors running around the place, giving legal advice, giving criminal legal advice. I see it daily.

Reichman, who moved to the Gold Coast from Melbourne to take up a scholarship with Bond University, was found to have acted in a legal capacity 12 times during visits to police stations and a watch house.