The European Commission has cleared the acquisition of 400 Esso-branded fuelling stations in France by DCC plc, the parent company of Certas Energy.

In August DCC announced it had agreed an £84m deal to buy Esso’s 274-strong Express unmanned retail petrol station network, its 48 motorway concessions in France, as well as contracts to supply about 75 dealer owned dealer operated sites.

The Express Network has a 4.2% share of the retail market in France, and the motorway sites represent 11% of the national motorway network and hold 8% of the motorway fuels market.

The European Commission said the planned deal would not raise competition concerns as there were no overlaps between the two companies’ activities.

DCC Energy already operates a number of fuelling station networks in other countries and has sought to expand this business further.

Last year it acquired the Qstar chain of unmanned stations in Sweden, while in Ireland it operates the Emo network as well as Great Gas, which also uses unmanned stations.