Supermarket firm Morrisons has signed an understanding with Motor Fuel Group (MFG), framing Morrisons’ sale of 337 petrol forecourts plus more than 400 associated sites – with many set to be transformed into EV charging hubs.
The proposed £2.5bn transaction forms a new strategic partnership between the two companies.
If finance is confirmed, Morrisons will take a minority stake of approximately 20% in MFG, and honour revised commercial and supply agreements with MFG.
Such an investment will position MFG as one of Britain’s biggest ultra-rapid EV charge point operators, with over 1,300 sites serving and powering millions of customers every week.
MFG will invest and install Ultra-Rapid EV charging infrastructure across the sites it acquires. The charging supplier is targeting the installation of 800 Ultra-Rapid 150kW EV chargers, in hubs, within the first five years alone.
The proposed transaction is designed to create synergies across fuel retailing 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.
The proposed deal will see MFG becoming the UK’s number two convenience store operator.
The charging company has already committed to completing its market leading £400m EV roll out by 2030. Through this partnership it 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.
New jobs will follow, 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.
Following the acquisition of Morrisons in October 2021, all parties worked collaboratively with the Competition & Markets Authority throughout 2022, with MFG subsequently selling 87 sites, thereby satisfying any competition concerns.
Morrisons’ CEO Rami Baitiéh declared: “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.
MFG’s CEO William Bannister responded: “MFG is proud to be a British entrepreneurial success, 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.