Motor Fuel Group (MFG) and Morrisons have entered into an agreement relating to a proposed acquisition by MFG of hundreds of Morrisons petrol forecourts and associated sites across the UK for ultra-rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging development.
The proposed £2.5bn transaction forms a new strategic partnership between the two companies and involves the purchase of 337 forecourts, including fuel, convenience retail kiosk and ancillary services, in addition to 400 associated sites.
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.
MFG will invest and install ultra-rapid EV charging infrastructure across the sites acquired by MFG, expanding its nationwide EV network.
MFG is targeting the installation of 800 ultra-rapid 150kW EV chargers, in hubs, within the first five years alone.
Morrisons will continue to supply food and groceries across the 337 petrol forecourts with the opportunity to expand its supply into the MFG estate over the medium term through its wholesale operation.
The level of investment will position MFG as one of the largest ultra-rapid EV charge point operators in the UK, with more 1,300 sites.
MFG would also become the UK’s number two convenience store operator serving communities across the country.
William Bannister, CEO of MFG, said: “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.”
For Morrisons, the proceeds of the sale will fund further investment in the grocery and food making businesses, as well as strengthening the business’s capital structure.
It’s anticipated the transaction will be a significant creator of jobs, as investment in EV charging, valeting and expansion of the convenience offer and modernisation of Morrisons petrol forecourts drives traffic to the expanded MFG estate.
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.”
MFG operates a different model to Morrisons with colleagues employed directly by the franchise holder.
Morrisons forecourt employees will be provided with an in-store position on the same pay and employment terms, and, according to the company, in nearly all circumstances the position will most likely be in the store to which the forecourt is attached.
There will reportedly be no compulsory redundancies as a result of the proposed transaction.
Following the acquisition of Morrisons in October 2021 all parties worked with the Competition & Markets Authority throughout 2022, with MFG subsequently selling 87 sites, thereby satisfying competition concerns.
Achievements and innovations in EV charging will be celebrated at the third annual CiTTi Awards, which will be held on 26 November 2024 at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London. Nominations officially open in March 2024. Please visit www.cittiawards.co.uk to learn more about this unmissable event for the UK’s transportation sector.