Agreement to sell 201 sites to three Top 50 independent retailers has been confirmed by Esso Petroleum Company and ROC UK (ExxonMobil).

The long-awaited decision, following a strict bidding process, means Euro Garages Ltd has taken the lion’s share with 104 sites; followed by MRH (GB) Ltd with 78; and Rontec Investments LLP with 19.

Esso announced it would be selling off its final tranche of company-owned sites excluding the 200 Tesco joint venture sites more than a year ago. It completes a series of site sales which began in 2012.

A spokesman for Esso said the latest agreements related to service stations in the South and South East of England, and will include a long-term branded fuel supply agreement.

"ExxonMobil will continue to serve the retail market in this region with Euro Garages, MRH and Rontec supplying Esso-branded fuels to their respective sites.

"Euro Garages, MRH and Rontec will purchase Esso fuels at the terminal rack and deliver to Esso-branded service stations in their respective networks. Following previous branded fuel supply agreements, the number of Esso-branded sites in the UK is growing and there are now more than 1,000."

Euro Garages was not willing to comment, but John Lynn, managing director of MRH, said: "We are delighted with the deal. We have got exactly the regions South East and East Anglia that we wanted. Also these are top quality sites. Because Esso was selling off all its sites it was not a case of an oil company just disposing of its poorest ones. We will look forward to integrating the sites and investing in them, and we will seek to replicate the successful integration of the Esso sites in Scotland that we bought in 2012."