The retail and distribution operation newly acquired from Kuwait Petroleum GB last month, is likely to be renamed Pace Petroleum Ltd. And an old face from the past, Brian Handley, the former boss of Fina’s retail operations prior to its merger with Total, is thought to be the new managing director.

The former Kuwait business, which has been up for sale for some time, was bought by Refined Holdings, a newly formed joint venture between Malthurst, an independent company with more than 100 forecourt sites, and two other investment and property companies, the Winston Group and the William Pears Group. The Pace name would be appropriate as it is the name of the minor brand operated by Kuwait and is displayed on around 30 sites. A spokesperson for Refined Holdings said: “We have been keen to expand our interests in the UK fuels market and this is a great opportunity for us. We see this as a strategic purchase and part of a continuing expansion programme. We are delighted to be acquiring such a respected marketer and are confident we can build on KPGB’s established reputation. The combined networks of Malthurst and KPGB will make this new venture the largest independendent fuel distributor and retailer in the country.” Gerrit Ruitinga, KPGB managing director, said: “Our parent company, Kuwait Petroleum International, has decided to concentrate its efforts in the UK market on areas other than retail and direct fuels marketing.”

Since the sale KPGB has confirmed the sale of its storage terminal at Grangemouth in Scotland to Kaneb Terminals Ltd.

PRA director Ray Holloway said he understood that Q8-branded dealers, would be allowed to remain until the end of their contract. “But there has been very little information – the new owners need to communicate with them very soon.”

Kuwait Petroleum entered the UK in 1986 with the purchase of Hays Petroleum Services, then Ultramar Golden Eagle and Nafta (GB).