SUPERMARKET chain Morrisons has announced it is to sell its 337 forecourts across the UK in a deal worth £2.5 billion.
Morrisons announced on Wednesday afternoon that Motor Fuel Group (MFG) and the supermarket had entered into an agreement relating to the acquisition of 337 forecourts and more than 400 associated sites across the country, including those in Aberystwyth, Newtown and Carmarthen.
The statement added that Morrisons will take a minority stake in the deal and the supermarket branding will remain on forecourts.
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.
"It will benefit UK motorists and shoppers at the pump and in store, as well as helping the UK prepare for the end of new diesel and petrol car sales in 2035 as the Government strives to meet its 2050 net zero target.
"The benefits of the transaction include a commitment to supermarket fuel pricing across the Morrisons estate. Value-for-money supermarket fuel will remain the offering on Morrisons forecourts, with the Morrisons brand above the door.
"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.
"Significant investment to expand and improve the convenience retail proposition, with a focus on enhancing the retail environment, food-to-go and valeting facilities to customers, and
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.
"This level of investment will position MFG as one of the largest and most significant ultra-rapid EV charge point operators in the UK, with over 1,300 sites serving and powering millions of customers a week.
"For Morrisons, the proceeds of the sale will fund further investment in the grocery and food making businesses, as well as significantly strengthening the business’s capital structure.
"We anticipate the transaction will be a significant creator of jobs, as investment in EV charging, valeting and the expansion of the convenience offer and modernisation of Morrisons petrol forecourts drives traffic to the expanded MFG estate.
"Every Morrisons forecourt colleague will be provided with an in-store position on the same pay and employment terms, and in nearly all circumstances this position will most likely be in the store to which the forecourt is attached. There will be no compulsory redundancies."
Rami Baitiéh, CEO of Morrisons, said: “As the needs of the customer continue to evolve, Morrisons and MFG’s partnership will see us combine our respective expertise and resources to deliver the best value for customers at the pump, in our convenience stores and in our supermarkets. It means Morrisons customers will continue to see a competitive and attractive forecourt offering, including expanded access to EV charging, while also benefitting from greater focus on investment in Morrisons’ core food business.
"We are delighted to have such a strong partner in MFG and look forward to the opportunities a combined MFG and Morrisons forecourt offering will provide.”
William Bannister, CEO of MFG, added: “MFG is proud to be a British entrepreneurial success story that is investing in jobs, critical infrastructure, and serving our communities to help the country achieve its decarbonisation transition.
"This strategic acquisition, and the resulting partnership with the highly respected Morrisons brand, is the next major growth investment for MFG. It is anchored in the potential for us to accelerate the roll-out of Ultra-Rapid EV charging infrastructure across the UK while also giving customers a first-class retail offer."