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CMA launches consultation over MFG Murco deal

23 January, 2015

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a consultation after MFG came up with a proposal to address competition concerns over its acquisition of Murco’s retail business.

The CMA had said the deal would mean MFG would own both the petrol stations in Hythe, Kent, and this could result in a lessening of competition for consumers in the area. But it added that a full competition inquiry could be averted if MFG came up with a strategy to tackle the problem.

In its latest statement, the CMA revealed that MFG had proposed the sale of the freehold of Seapoint Filling Station, the Murco petrol station in Hythe, and related assets, including a grocery outlet.

It said it believed this action would satisfy its competition concerns, but before reaching a decision on whether to accept the proposed undertaking, it was inviting interested parties to make their views known. The deadline for responses is 5pm on 5 February 2015.

After the initial announcement MFG managing director Jeremy Clarke commented: “We are delighted that the CMA has only found one location, Hythe in Kent, where it believes there are competition concerns with MFG now operating two stations that are situated close to each other.

“MFG is keen to remedy the competition concerns in a clear-cut way and to avoid an in-depth CMA investigation. We will, therefore, be working with the CMA to arrive at a quick and acceptable solution.”

MFG acquired 228 Murco branded petrol stations and 226 fuel supply contracts for independent dealers from Murco in October. Pre-acquisition, MFG owned and operated 60 petrol stations in the UK under the BP, Jet, and Total brands.

Keywords: Murco, competition, CMA, MFG, Kent, Hythe




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