Rontec Investments LLP, a consortium comprising top 50 Indie Snax 24 and partners Investec and Grovepoint Capital, have signed an agreement to acquire Total’s retail and fuel distribution business in the UK.

The deal includes the acquisition of 810 service stations 254 of which will simultaneously be sold to Shell and be operated by Snax 24 under a management agreement. On completion of the transaction, which is expected later in 2011 upon satisfaction of regulatory and other conditions, the acquisition will leave Snax 24 as the leading independent fuel retailing operator in the UK. Rontec Investments will own 238 sites and supply a further 318 dealers.

Butler heating oil business, associated logistics infrastructure, Channel Islands and Isle of Man businesses will also transfer to Rontec and the employees of the businesses being acquired are being transferred by TUPE.

Gerald Ronson, chairman of Snax 24, said: "This transaction marks Snax 24’s return to the fuel business in scale. We are delighted to be acquiring this already well-run business and believe that our independence will enable us to create further opportunities and drive innovation.

"We look forward to working with our new colleagues to deliver the best customer experience in the sector."

Bernard Kantor, managing director of Investec, said: "We believe there is an excellent growth opportunity in UK service stations for an established independent operator such as Snax 24 and look forward to supporting our consortium partners in building a major new force in the industry."

Commenting on the decision to acquire 254 sites from Rontec, Shell UK’s downstream director Mark Williams, said: "The deal with the Snax 24 consortium fits Shell’s global downstream strategy of pursuing opportunities in selected markets where we see prospects for growth."