One of the highest-profile figures in the forecourt industry has sold his business. Paul Sykes, who was managing director of award-winning Shaws Petroleum, has sold the company to Midlands Co-operative Society for an undisclosed sum.

Paul was unable to comment on the deal, but a spokesperson for Midlands Co-operative Society, said: "Shaws Petroleum has become a subsidiary company of Midlands Co-operative Society, with sites located in Ripley, Barnsley, Sutton in Ashfield and two in Huddersfield.

"The five sites have been rebranded and are trading under the Co-operative green fascia. This acquisition reaffirms our aim to grow the Society’s portfolio, which now has over 15 fuel-filling sites across our trading area."

Paul was a prominent figure in the forecourt sector for more than two decades and became president of the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) in 1995.

Together with PRA director Bruce Petter, Paul campaigned for the Office of Fair Trading and Parliament to look into the competitive practices and predatory pricing by supermarkets, and warned a Parliamentary Select Committee that the industry could be reduced to 9,000 sites. He was managing director of Shaws Petroleum for just under 35 years, and the company reached a peak, in terms of site numbers, in 1990 when it ran 17.

Paul is a director of Farnley Estate in West Yorkshire. It owns 1,500 acres of farmland, 400 acres of woodland and 30 residential properties.