Top 50 Indie Retail Fuels Ltd has been acquired by fuel brand Harvest Energy, part of the Prax Group. The acquisition was completed just before Christmas and reflects the group’s

strategic objective to expand its retail footprint and brand presence across the UK marketplace.

Retail Fuels Limited, owns and operates nine forecourts in the UK and was number 35 in the Top 50 Indies listing in 2017. The nine sites are principally located in the North West, with six in Merseyside, two in Greater Manchester and one in the Midlands. In the latest Top 50 Indie countdown, directors Andrew and David Tattersall reported that the company had refreshed its entire network with the latest BP image in 2016.

"It will be a big change for my brother David and I," said Andrew Tattersall. "We both thought that the time was right. There was obvious consolidation happening in the market and we had a choice either to expand the company and develop the convenience side of the business or to exit.

"In all honesty, both Dave and I are more petrol and property people than shop experts and we just didn’t feel the convenience store angle suited our skills and experience. We have been in the business for 30 years and have had a fantastic time buying and selling many petrol stations and building a very profitable business.

"We will miss the characters and wonderful operators who made our business what it was. Special praise also to Adam Wadlow whose market insight and experience was invaluable."

Each of the Retail Fuels sites has a “quality property offering, which following redevelopment, will deliver incremental shop and forecourt revenues”, said Sanjeev Kumar, co-founder and chief executive officer of the Prax Group.

“UK forecourts have become convenience destinations in many different respects. Whether it is shopping on the way home in the evening, picking up a quality coffee or snack on the way into work, or even dropping off or collecting parcels, changes in consumer behaviour have presented strong opportunities for companies, who are prepared to invest in their forecourt stores and food offerings.

“This acquisition demonstrates our commitment to enhancing our existing estate in the UK and leveraging our expertise in operating high-quality service area offerings with a strong food-to-go focus, which will help attract forecourt footfall. The team will enhance the customer experience by raising standards in-store and on the forecourt services.

“I would like to take this opportunity to convey our thanks and appreciation to all colleagues who supported the successful completion of this transaction, as well as extending a very warm welcome to our new forecourt teams. We look forward to working together to become one of the UK forecourt sector’s most significant operators,” he concluded.