The owners of Motor Fuels Group (MFG) have teamed up again to buy a portfolio of 54 petrol filling stations in a deal worth more than £50m.
Aberdeen-based oil industry veteran Alasdair Locke and private equity firm Patron Capital Partners formed a joint venture, Scorpion PFS 1 Ltd, to buy the filling stations with funding support from the Scottish Real Estate Finance team at Royal Bank of Scotland Corporate & Institutional Banking (RBS CIB).
Locke and Patron Capital previously teamed up at the beginning of 2012 to buy MFG, which was ranked number five in the most recent Forecourt Trader Top 50 Indies with 58 sites and turnover of £315m.
The identity of the seller has not been revealed and both Patron Capital Partners and MFG refused to comment on this and whether there might be any tie-up between MFG and Scorpion.
However, sources within the industry suggested that the portfolio was the remainder of the 63 Petrol Express sites that were sold by GNE Group in 2008 to a consortium also led by Locke.
These sites were leased to Murco, and the same sources suggested the deal was linked to the US parent company Murphy Oil Corporation’s stated aim of selling off its UK subsidiary.
RBS CIB said its funding enabled Scorpion to acquire the portfolio and progress Patron’s wider strategy in the UK fuel sector. Each of the filling stations supports its local market, including rural areas, in the supply of fuel and the provision of a convenience store offering.
Stephen Green, senior partner at Patron, said: “We believe these assets offer strong investment potential and would like to thank the team at Royal Bank of Scotland for helping realise this opportunity. They showed a clear understanding of our requirements and goals, fully supported by very strong experience in the sector.”
Stuart Heslop, regional managing director, real estate finance at RBS CIB, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Patron and Alasdair Locke in this acquisition. We have known these assets and management for a number of years and both Patron and Alasdair are long standing valued clients of RBS.
“These parties coming together on this transaction will herald an exciting few years ahead and we look forward to supporting management with their plans to develop the portfolio. Our regional coverage in the UK is vital to our understanding of these assets and allows us to work closely with our clients on the ground on this and any future opportunities.”