Four sites that were operated by Top 50 Indie Javid Iqbal, and closed down suddenly earlier this month, are set to reopen under new ownership.

The four Essar-branded sites were all in Stoke-on-Trent and closed without notice, amid reports the freeholder had terminated the leases, fenced them off and begun removing pumps.

Now the local press is reporting businessman Muhammad Raja has taken over the sites – at Endon, Fenton, Longton and Mossfield – and BP will be supplying the fuel.

He is quoted as saying the sites will open as soon as they have been rebranded by BP, although new pumps will also need to installed at the Endon site.

The forecourt shops will be branded Premier, apart from the store in Longton which will be branded as Family Shopper, and Costa Coffee will be introduced to all the sites.

In March 2017 Javid Iqbal signed up five of his sites, which had previously been branded Esso, to the Essar brand. The fith site, Hatton Service Station in Derby, is believed to still be trading normally with Essar.