MRH, the biggest independent service station owner and operator in the UK, has been bought by a US private equity firm Lone Star.

The deal closed on January 26 for an undisclosed sum having received approval from the European Commission under EU Merger Regulations.

The accompanying statement said: "The companies’ activities do not overlap. The Commission therefore concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns."

Lone Star invests globally and has capital commitments totalling about $60bn.

The deal is the third in recent months where private equity funds have invested in leading companies in Forecourt Trader’s Top 50 Indies.

MFG, which is second in the Top 50 Indies listing behind MRH, was already owned by Patron Capital, and in June last year was bought by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) in a deal valued at £500m.

And in October TDR Capital took a minority stake in Euro Garages, the third-ranked Top 50 company, valued at £1.3bn.

MRH owns and operates 452 forecourts stretching from Scotland to the Channel Islands selling 2.43blpa, and the group’s turnover is £2.66bn. The majority of its sites are branded BP and Esso but it also has Jet, Texaco, Shell and its Torq own-brand. It has170 stores under its Hursts brand and 72 Spar stores.