Motor Fuel Group (MFG) and Morrisons have entered into an agreement which will see the market leading independent forecourt operator acquire 337 Morrisons petrol forecourts (including fuel, convenience retail kiosk and ancillary services) and more than 400 associated sites, across the UK – with many set to be transformed into electric vehicle (EV) charging hubs.
The proposed £2.5bn transaction forms a new strategic partnership between the two companies. As part of the transaction Morrisons will take a minority stake of approximately 20% in MFG, and enter into commercial and supply agreements with MFG, underscoring the long-term nature of the commercial partnership.
This level of investment will position MFG as one of the largest and most significant ultra-rapid EV charge point operators in the UK, with over 1,300 sites serving and powering millions of customers a week.
MFG will invest and install Ultra-Rapid EV charging infrastructure across the sites acquired by MFG, significantly expanding MFG’s market leading nationwide EV network.
MFG is targeting the installation of 800 Ultra-Rapid 150kW EV chargers, in hubs, within the first five years alone.
The proposed transaction will create significant synergies across fuel retail and ancillary services, as well as scale advantages and growth opportunities for both businesses. It will benefit UK motorists and shoppers at the pump and in store, as well as helping the UK prepare for the end of new diesel and petrol car sales in 2035 as the Government strives to meet its 2050 net zero target.
MFG will also grow to become the UK’s number two convenience store operator serving communities across the country. MFG has already committed to completing its market leading £400m EV roll out by 2030, and through this partnership intends to electrify approximately 800 sites with thousands of Ultra-Rapid chargers across the combined estate in that timeframe.
For Morrisons, the proceeds of the sale will fund further investment in the grocery and food making businesses, as well as significantly strengthening the business’s capital structure.
Morrisons anticipate the transaction will be a significant creator of jobs, as investment in EV charging, valeting and the expansion of the convenience offer and modernisation of Morrisons petrol forecourts drives traffic to the expanded MFG estate. MFG operates a different model to Morrisons with colleagues employed directly by the franchise holder. Every Morrisons forecourt colleague will be provided with an in-store position on the same pay and employment terms, and in nearly all circumstances this position will most likely be in the store to which the forecourt is attached. There will be no compulsory redundancies.
Following the acquisition of Morrisons in October 2021 all parties worked collaboratively with the Competition & Markets Authority (“CMA”) throughout 2022, with MFG subsequently selling 87 sites, thereby satisfying any competition concerns.
Rami Baitiéh, CEO of Morrisons, said:
“As the needs of the customer continue to evolve, Morrisons and MFG’s partnership will see us combine our respective expertise and resources to deliver the best value for customers at the pump, in our convenience stores and in our supermarkets. It means Morrisons customers will continue to see a competitive and attractive forecourt offering, including expanded access to EV charging, while also benefitting from greater focus on investment in Morrisons’ core food business. We are delighted to have such a strong partner in MFG and look forward to the opportunities a combined MFG and Morrisons forecourt offering will provide.”
William Bannister, CEO of MFG, added:
“MFG is proud to be a British entrepreneurial success story that is investing in jobs, critical infrastructure, and serving our communities to help the country achieve its decarbonisation transition. This strategic acquisition, and the resulting partnership with the highly respected Morrisons brand, is the next major growth investment for MFG. It is anchored in the potential for us to accelerate the roll-out of Ultra-Rapid EV charging infrastructure across the UK while also giving customers a first-class retail offer. We will be there to serve and power our customers, regardless of what car they drive in the years and decades ahead as we play a key role in keeping the country and its economy moving. We look forward to working with Morrisons to provide best-in-class charging, refuelling and retail experiences for all our customers.”
Zapmap, the UK’s leading eMobility Service provider dedicated to accelerating the transition to low emission mobility, commented on the news.
Melanie Shufflebotham, Co-founder & COO at Zapmap, said:
“It’s fantastic to see MFG partnering with Morrisons to deliver reliable, high-powered charging for electric car drivers across the country. This acquisition of sites for EV charging amounts to a significant expansion of MFG EV Power’s Ultra-Rapid network and is undoubtedly a win for UK motorists. MFG’s fast-paced rollout of charging hubs is certainly impressive, while the increased availability of ultra-rapid charging capabilities across the UK will contribute to greater adoption of vehicles, which of course pollute less and support our collective efforts to reduce harmful carbon emissions.”
Image courtesy of MFG.