MRH (GB) LTD is divesting its commercial fuels distribution business to focus its growth aspirations on the ownership and operation of forecourts.


Contracts have been exchanged to sell the shares in MRH subsidiary Pace Fuelcare Ltd to GB Oils Ltd, which is a major operating subsidiary of Dublin-based DCC plc.


As part of the agreement MRH will retain ownership of all of its freehold depot properties and lease most of these to Pace Fuelcare under a long-term lease agreement. The intellectual property associated with the Pace brand name and brand identity will also be retained by MRH but will be licensed to GB Oils in perpetuity for use in specific business channels. The amount payable is £23.4m in cash.


MRH managing director John Lynn said: "Having taken the decision to divest the business we are pleased to have reached agreement with GB Oils. I am sure they will recognise the dedication and hard work of the Pace staff and together take the business from strength to strength."


In its last financial review Pace sold 515 million litres of fuel. employs 240 employees, operates from 20 locations across southern England and has a fleet of 86 road tankers.


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."