- MFG to acquire 337 Morrisons forecourts as Morrisons takes a minority stake in MFG in deal worth £2.5bn
- A commitment to supermarket fuel pricing across the Morrisons estate.
- MFG will invest and install Ultra-Rapid EV charging infrastructure across the newly-acquired sites.
- Significant investment to expand and improve the convenience retail proposition.
MFG and Morrisons have confirmed the proposed acquisition by MFG of 337 Morrisons petrol forecourts (including fuel, convenience retail kiosk and ancillary services) and more than 400 associated sites across the UK for the development of ’ultra-rapid’ EV charging.
In a statement issued following the announcement, the two companies said the proposed £2.5bn transaction would form a new strategic partnership between them, with Morrisons taking a minority stake of approximately 20% in MFG as part of the transaction. Morrisons will also enter into commercial and supply agreements with MFG, ”underscoring the long-term nature of the commercial partnership”.
The proposed transaction aims to create significant synergies across fuel retail and ancillary services, as well as scale advantages and growth opportunities for both businesses, with benefits highlighted as:
- 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 nationwide EV network.
- MFG is targeting the installation of 800 ultra-rapid 150kW EV chargers, in hubs, within the first five years.
- 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.
- 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 said the level of investment would position the company as one of the largest and most significant ultra-rapid EV charge-point operators in the UK, with over 1,300 sites; and the UK’s number two convenience store operator. MFG has already committed to completing its £400m EV rollout by 2030, and through this partnership intends to ”electrify” around 800 sites with thousands of ultra-rapid chargers across the combined estate during that time.
Morrisons said 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”.
The two companies 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.
MFG operates a different model to Morrisons with colleagues employed directly by the franchise holder. The press statement claimed that ”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”.
Following the acquisition of Morrisons in October 2021 all parties worked collaboratively with the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) throughout 2022, with MFG subsequently selling 87 sites, thereby satisfying any competition concerns.
William Bannister, CEO of MFG, said: “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. We will be there to serve and power our customers, regardless of what car they drive in the years and decades ahead as we play a key role in keeping the country and its economy moving. We look forward to working with Morrisons to provide best-in-class charging, refuelling and retail experiences for all our customers.”
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.”