The UK’s largest service station operator MRH has been acquired by the second biggest MFG in a £1.2bn deal. The acquisition will create the UK’s number one operator by number of sites and number two by volume. MFG is owned by funds managed by US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.

MFG and MRH together operate more than 930 sites, which are predominantly company-owned and franchisee-operated and manage third-party fuel, convenience and foodservice brands. These include fuel brands BP, Esso, Jet, Murco, Shell and Texaco and retail brands Budgens, Costa Coffee, Greggs, Spar and Subway, as well as the MRH-owned brand, Hursts. "The combination of MRH and MFG will create the UK’s leading service station group and one of the largest in Europe," said MRH chief executive Karen Dickens. "We are delighted to have reached this agreement and look forward to an exciting future together."

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018, subject to approvals.