Growing Top 50 Indie Ascona Group has bought fellow Top 50 Indie Cornwall Garage Group, a portfolio of 17 petrol filling stations, located across the Midlands, Home Counties and South West of England.

Specialist business property advisor Christie & Co handled the deal for Cornwall Garage Group.

The portfolio, which was first established by John Murray in the early 1960s, comprises fourteen freehold and three leasehold sites. It was ranked 13 on the Forecourt Trader Top 50 Indie 2019 listing published in March. Ascona Group was ranked 26 with 11 sites but together with other acquisitions now has 37 operational sites.

Sixteen of Cornwall Garage’s sites traded under the Harvest Energy brand and nine sites have electric vehicle chargers installed in partnership with Instavolt. The total fuel throughput is approximately 46mlpa with the shops turning over around £6.9m.

Grant, Lance and Pamela Murray commented: “The Murray family are pleased to announce the sale of the Cornwall Garage Group to Ascona Group. The company was set up over 50 years ago by John Murray. Following his death in post at 94 years old the family decided to sell the group in order to facilitate the development of other interests.

“We wish Ascona Group every success in the future and thank our loyal and hardworking staff for all their help in making the Cornwall Garage Group such a happy and successful family business. We’d also like to thank the Christie & Co team, particularly Mark Kaluza, Dave Morris and Steve Rodell, for all their hard work, persistence, dedication and advice throughout the process, from marketing through to completion.”

Darren Briggs, managing director of Ascona Group, said: “Following our significant growth over the past 18 months, we are delighted to announce our first major group acquisition of Cornwall Garage Group. We consider this group of 17 sites to be a good strategic fit for our ongoing acquisition strategy across the UK and furthermore catapults Ascona Group into the top 10 independent fuel retailers in the UK.”

Mark Kaluza, director of retail at specialist business property advisor Christie & Co who led the deal for the Murrays, added: “We have worked with the Murrays for a number of years and were delighted to receive their instructions to handle the sale. They agreed to a full and open marketing campaign which exposed the opportunity to the entire market.

“We received significant interest in the group as a whole and over 100 offers for individual sites. We wish Darren and his team well with integrating 17 sites in to the expanding Ascona Group portfolio and are very pleased to have played a large part in their expansion plans. with this pivotal acquisition.”

Winckworth Sherwood acted on behalf of Cornwall Garage Group.