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February 5, 2013 8:56 pm
Euro Garages – the independent forecourt retailer chaired by Andy Bond, former Asda chief executive – has bought the first tranche of sites being sold by ExxonMobil, the US oil major, which is focusing on supplying independent retailers rather than owning stores.
Euro Garages has acquired 45 Esso-branded petrol stations in a deal thought be worth about £50m, in what it said was a “transformational acquisition”.
The sites in the north of England and Wales expand the Blackburn-based group to 120 locations. They will retain the Esso brand and supply Esso fuels.
ExxonMobil is selling its 570 forecourts in the UK, in packages over several years. Petrol consumption is falling and forecourt profitability is increasingly driven by convenience retail sales.
About half the 9,500 forecourts in the UK are expected to change hands in the next few years as oil producers pull back.
Euro Garages will convert the shops to Spar outlets.
Mohsin Issa, managing director, said: “This is a transformational acquisition for our business, which accelerates our consolidation strategy in the UK and increases our presence in a number of important regions. It also fits perfectly with our retail proposition, which is based on partnering with quality brands to offer our customers the very best experience and value across our forecourts.”
It has partnerships with Subway, Burger King and Starbucks and has opened 25 of 100 planned drive-through outlets of the coffee shop chain.
Sales at Euro Garages increased from £305m to £314m in the 12 months to 31 July 2012 compared with the year before, with earnings before, interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation up from £12m to £13m.
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