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MFG owner in talks to buy Murco network

16 July, 2014

The owner of Top 50 Indie Motor Fuels Group (MFG) is in talks to buy more than 225 Murco filling stations put up for sale by their US owner Murphy Oil.

Private equity group Patron Capital, which bought MFG in 2012 and a further portfolio of 54 Murco filling stations last year, is in negotiations over a deal worth around 200m.

According to the Sunday Times, Murphy Oil is aiming to announce the deal by the end of the month to coincide with its quarterly results.

Murphy Oil announced more than three years ago that it intended to sell its UK business which comprises the Murco network of filling stations and its oil refinery at Milford Haven.

A deal with a private equity group broke down earlier this year, and last month it agreed to sell the oil refinery to the Swiss-based Klesch Group. That deal is now undergoing due diligence.

In January 2012 Patron Capital Partners teamed up with Aberdeen oil tycoon Alasdair Locke and paid 40m for MFG, then one of the largest independent petrol station groups in the UK, and currently ranked fourth in the Forecourt Trader Top 50 Indies.

At the time of the deal for MFG, Locke said his plan was to build a portfolio of 200 petrol stations across the UK.

And in August last year the two parties teamed up again to buy a portfolio of 54 Murco petrol stations in a deal worth more than 50m.

The identity of the seller was not revealed but sources within the industry suggested that the portfolio was the remainder of the 63 Petrol Express sites that were sold by GNE Group in 2008 to a consortium also led by Locke in a deal valued at 52m.

Locke sold his Aberdeen-based Abbot Group to US private equity firm First Reserve in 2007 in a deal worth 900m.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 4 November 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East Midlands130.73139.73126.64
North East129.5562.90137.10125.31
North West129.9963.90138.40126.48
Northern Ireland128.05133.57124.33
South East131.4566.90139.66127.42
South West130.7674.90137.94126.68
West Midlands130.4059.90137.63126.57
Yorkshire & Humber130.02139.47126.29

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