Retail bosses at DCC have sought to reassure Total dealers about its intentions, following last month’s announcement of its agreement to buy Total’s oil distribution assets from Rontec Gerald Ronson’s Snax 24-led consortium.

The deal includes contracts to supply around 300 dealer-owned, dealer-operated retail service stations, which are currently branded Total.

Keith Jewers, director of retail for GB Oils, a wholly owned subsidiary of DCC plc, said: "It’s business as usual. And we are pleased to explain to Total and Power dealers that they will be working alongside people who understand the dealer market, who have a long-term commitment to the UK, and who also have the facility to properly support the independent petrol retailer."

GB Oils currently supplies fuel to 815 independent UK dealers under brands including Gulf and Texaco. Its latest acquisitions still to be completed will add around 300 Total, 140 Pace and 100 Power-branded filling stations to its portfolio, giving it the claim to being the largest independent petrol retailer with more than 1,300 outlets.

"GB Oils benefits from secure long-term supply arrangements across the UK with more than 200 depots and a fleet of more than 800 tankers," explained Jewers.

"Its infrastructure, growth strategy and financial strength have already provided the impetus for Gulf to become the fastest-growing forecourt brand in the UK."

However many Total dealers were seriously concerned about the fate of the Total brand.

Total dealer Phil Richardson of Newcastle-based Park Garage Group, said: "I’m not happy about being passed from pillar to post, and I’m not happy about DCC. We’ve had no information."