Forecourt Trader - 30 years at the heart of the fuel retailing community

Gulf boosts company network with acquisition of two sites

Merril Boulton ·

Certas Energy has added two West Wales fillings stations to its growing company portfolio with the acquisition of Square & Compass and Letterson Filling Stations, both formerly owned by Roger and Anne Shackleton.

The couple have operated their Pembrokeshire forecourt business for 22 years; the two Gul-branded forecourts are integral to the local community, with large and successful convenience stores and a combined fuel volume of 5.6mlpa.

“We are delighted to have concluded this deal, it’s a very good fit for our business as we continue to grow our company operation across the UK,” said Richard Billington, retail director, Certas Energy. “We already hadDealer operation.”

“Anne and Roger have put their heart and soul into their business and its standing within the locality is testament to their hard work and that of a very talented team, whom we look forward to working with. We’ll bring the sites into harmony with the rest of our company-owned operation, investing in the latest back-office technology and on-site facilities to future-proof the business. We will also remain true to the values established by the Shackletons to be at the heart of the local community.”

The two forecourts currently employ 20 people. They are seven miles apart, both situated in the town of Haverfordwest. Dave Morris, dDirector at specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co, acted on behalf of owners Anne and Roger and commented: “The two forecourts presented a great opportunity for a buyer as they are in a good location and well-regarded locally. It has been a pleasure to work for Anne and Roger who have been passionate fuel retailers for over 20 years and we wish them all the best with their retirement. Both sites are a good fit for Certas Energy and we look forward to seeing them transition into Certas’ company owned portfolio.”

Reflecting on his departure from the business, Roger Shackleton said: “We have fantastic staff and a successful business that has been nurtured to the needs of our community. I’ve loved every minute of the ever-changing environment of forecourt and convenience retailing. I still get up every morning at 4am to prepare for the day ahead but now seems the right time to retire. Certas Energy and Gulf Retail are better suited to unlock the future potential and get the very best out of our two sites. It’s a very emotive time for us both, we regard our staff as family but we know they are in good hands. The Gulf team are genuine, the process has been relatively smooth and David Morris of Christie and Co has been brilliant, working tirelessly keep the deal progressing and to get us to this place.”

“When we drive past the sites in the future, we may feel saddened that we are no longer at the helm but in Gulf Retail, we are happy that we have sold to the right people.”

This latest acquisition by Certas Energy increases its company portfolio to 35 sites as it continues to grow the Gulf network in size and scale.

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As the smaller/family owned independent forecourt businesses continue to be acquired by the big operators, do you think now could be the right time for you to sell up?