DCC, the sales, marketing, distribution and business support services group, has reached conditional agreement to acquire the entire issued share capital of Pace Fuelcare Ltd, from number-one indie MRH.

The acquisition of Pace is, among other things, subject to clearance from the UK Office of Fair Trading. The consideration payable for Pace, on a cash free/debt free basis, is £23.4m.

Tommy Breen, chief executive of DCC, said today: “The acquisition of Pace Fuelcare will further enhance DCC Energy’s oil distribution business in Britain, bringing its market share to approximately 15%. Pace has a particular strength in the distribution of transport fuels in southern England and will be complementary to DCC Energy’s existing business.”

GB Oils, a subsidiary of DCC, currently supplies fuel to around 900 independent dealer locations in the UK, including more than 250 Gulf branded service stations. Under GB Oils’ stewardship, Gulf has become the fastest growing brand in the UK.

Keith Jewers, director of Gulf Retail, said “This presents a terrific opportunity and, subject to completion, we welcome our new colleagues and look forward to working alongside them.”

In its last financial year, Pace sold 515 million litres of fuel to independent retail petrol stations and a broad range of commercial, industrial, agricultural and domestic customers. With approximately 240 employees, Pace operates from 20 locations across southern England and has a fleet of 86 road tankers.