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Morrisons to sell 337 petrol forecourts as part of £2.5bn deal

Morrisons has agreed to sell its petrol forecourts to Motor Fuel Group (MFG) as part of a £2.5bn deal that will also help drive the provision of electric vehicle charging.

The supermarket chain and MFG - both majority-owned by US private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) - confirmed the agreement months after Sky News first reported on the infancy of the talks.

The deal will see Morrisons' 337 fuel forecourts acquired by MFG, along with 400 other sites nationwide for the development of ultra-rapid electric vehicle charging.

Morrisons also takes a 20% stake in MFG under the proposals, which will allow the formation of a strategic partnership.

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Morrisons said the transaction would not result in any compulsory redundancies.

A statement also committed to supermarket-style fuel pricing, which is typically market-leading, amid sharp criticism of the industry from the competition regulator last year.

The sector was found to have overcharged customers in 2022, prompting the creation of a price transparency mechanism.

"Value-for-money supermarket fuel will remain the offering on Morrisons forecourts, with the Morrisons brand above the door," the company said.

"Morrisons will continue to supply food and groceries across the 337 Morrisons petrol forecourts, with the opportunity to expand its supply into the MFG estate over the medium term through its fast-growing wholesale operation.

"MFG will invest and install ultra-rapid EV charging infrastructure across the sites acquired by MFG, significantly expanding MFG's market leading nationwide EV network.

"MFG is targeting the installation of 800 ultra-rapid 150kW EV chargers, in hubs, within the first five years alone. These chargers can add 100 miles of range in approximately 10 minutes."

The statement added: "The proposed transaction will create significant synergies across fuel retail and ancillary services, as well as scale advantages and growth opportunities for both businesses."

If completed, it will echo a deal announced last year that saw Asda acquiring EG Group's petrol stations in the UK and Ireland.

Morrisons was expected to use a significant chunk of the proceeds of the deal to pay down part of its £5.7bn debt pile and allow wider investment in areas such as convenience shopping.

CD&R's £7bn takeover of Morrisons in 2021 was scrutinised by competition regulators partly on the basis of the buyout firm's existing ownership of MFG.

The Competition and Markets Authority ruled that the sale of 87 of MFG's petrol forecourts would be sufficient to alleviate its concerns.

That deal has since been completed.