Applegreen has nearly doubled the size of its UK operation increasing the number of its sites from 22 to 40, and is already looking for its next 10 sites according to managing director Michael O’Loughlin.

He said the acquisitions were not the result of a single deal but of several which had all been concluded at around the same time.

The biggest single deal was for 12 sites from the Co-op, with the rest in ones and twos including a pair in Norwich from fellow Top 50 Indie member Lawrences Garages.

Applegreen was 11th in the latest Forecourt Trader Top 50 Indies, and would rise to seventh with its new sites.

Two of the sites are in Wales, at Merthyr Tydfil and Bridgend, with the rest in England, including three inside the M25.

O’Loughlin said that as a result of its expansion, Applegreen is moving to a larger head office and recruiting additional staff.

See page 19 for more about re-branding of the sites.