Petrogas has announced that it intends to float with the aim of raising £50m to fund expansion of the business and upgrades of existing sites.

It also revealed that it will be renaming the company, using its Applegreen brand name instead, so Petrogas Global Limited will become Applegreen plc.

The Irish company currently owns about 100 sites in the Irish Republic, and was ranked fifth in the Forecourt Trader Top 50 Indies with 54 UK sites. It also owns two sites in Long Island in the US. Last year the head of its UK arm, Michael O’Loughlin, was crowned Retailer Champion of the Year at the Forecourt Trader Awards.

Bob Etchingham, CEO of Applegreen, said: “We are delighted to announce our intention to float, which will provide an important platform to pursue our long-term growth strategy. We believe there are significant opportunities for expansion across the Republic of Ireland and the UK.

“Applegreen is a leading retail petrol forecourt operator, with a proven track record of significant growth through the recession and has built a strong brand and consumer offer that is compelling, profitable and highly cash generative.

“The group is well positioned to benefit from recovering economic growth and increased disposable income in the Republic of Ireland and the UK, as well as favourable market trends as the oil majors exit the forecourt market.

“The intended IPO will enable us to execute on our growth strategy and further expand and rebrand our portfolio of sites. I am enthusiastic about our future, and look forward to the next stage of our growth as a listed company.”

In its statement the company said the proceeds of the flotation would be used to fund:

• an upgrade and rebrand up to 70 sites across the group’s existing network of sites in Ireland and the UK;

• to accelerate expansion in Ireland and the UK – which currently stands at about 20 sites a year - both by number of sites and by geography;

• to develop new service area sites in Ireland and the UK; and

• to take advantage of other opportunities that may arise including building a platform for growth in the US and opportunistic acquisitions of portfolios of sites that may become available.

It is expected that the flotation will take place in the second half of June.