£2bn talks over future of Morrisons' 340 fuel stops
By Simon Hacker | 11th September 2023
Supermarket Wm Morrison is reported to be in talks over a £2bn deal that would see new owners for one of the UK's biggest forecourt brands.
According to reports, the grocer has opened discussions with Motor Fuel Group (MFG) about a deal which could take place as a swift transaction - both Morrisons and MFG are controlled by the US private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice (CD&R).
With a conclusion tipped to be likely this autumn, the value of the deal is understood to be as much as £2.5bn.
Morrisons operates 340 petrol stations across the UK, including Gloucester, Tewkesbury and Cheltenham, while MFG is the largest independent operator of petrol stations in the UK and has 921 forecourts.
MFG is said to be also looking at a further 150 sites to boost its portfolio for expansion of its ultra-fast electric vehicle (EV) charging network.
The Times reported that any such deal would "alleviate the acute financial pressure that has built on Morrisons since CD&R bought the business in a top-of-the-market deal in 2021 that dumped £6.6 billion of debt onto its balance sheet." It is understood that, under CD&R's ownership, Morrisons' sales have been among the weakest in the sector.
● Industry sources have meanwhile suggested the deal would echo one explored between EG Group, the fuel retailing giant, and Asda - both of which are owned by TDR Capital and the Issa brothers Mohsin and Zuber. The talks eventually resulted in an announcement in May that Asda would acquire EG's operations in the UK and Ireland.
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