Family-owned dealer group Philip Wilks & Sons has been sold for £15m.

The long-established business operated nine forecourts in County Durham and was placed at number 29 in this year’s Top 50 Indies listing.

It has been bought by Mancunian entrepreneur Paul Abbott, who has joined forces with manufacturer and developer, the Stamford Group, to create a joint venture company called Bishop Commercial Holdings.

Abbott said: "Philip Wilks & Sons was the ideal acquisition for me as it is a well-run family business with a good reputation and market presence in the North East."

The new owners say they aim to boost sales from £42m to £65m over the next five years. The company plans to introduce Wild Bean Café coffee outlets at three of the larger BP-branded sites.

Bishop Commercial Holdings is also looking to acquire further sites.