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.

Sykes was unable to comment on the deal, but a spokesperson for Midlands Co-operative Society, said: “We can confirm that we have acquired Shaws Petroleum Limited. 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.

“Midlands Co-operative Society continues to actively seek business growth opportunities and this development represents continued investment for our Society in fuel filling stations and convenience stores for our customers, members and communities.

“Since the acquisition completed last month, the five sites have been rebranded and are trading under the co-operative green fascia. The inside of the stores now stock a range of co-operative food items, including co-operative brands such as Simply Value, Truly Irresistible and locally sourced ranges. This recent acquisition reaffirms the strategic aim to grow the Society’s portfolio, which now has over 15 fuel filling sites across our trading area.”

Sykes 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, Sykes 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.

Sykes 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 comprising both licensed and owned. Last year its five sites turned over £30.5m, of which £22.2m was fuel (24m litres), the shops contributed £8.17m, and carwash made £135,000 revenue.

In the Forecourt Trader Awards in October, Shaws’ Carlton Village Service Station in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, was crowned Best Site with a Licence to Sell Alcohol.

Sykes is a director of Farnley Estate, which is based around Farnley Tyas, in West Yorkshire. It owns 1,500 acres of farmland, 400 acres of woodland and 30 residential properties.