Morrisons to press ahead with sale of forecourts


Morrisons to press ahead with sale of forecourts

Signing off: Morrisons is understood to be sticking with its decision to quit fuel retailing

Signing off: Morrisons is understood to be sticking with its decision to quit fuel retailing

Morrisons is pushing on with plans to sell its fuel forecourts despite the Government’s shock move to delay a ban on new petrol and diesel car sales by five years.

The supermarket chain is understood to be sticking with its decision to quit fuel retailing – which had been a key driver in attracting shoppers to its stores – to focus on its core food retailing and manufacturing business instead.

Talks to offload 340 of the petrol stations to Motor Fuel Group (MFG) are continuing. Both firms are controlled by US buyout group Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.

The news comes as Morrisons prepares to unveil a third successive quarter of underlying sales growth later this week.

MFG is the largest independent forecourt operator in the UK and has been investing heavily in an ultra-fast electric vehicle charging network next to its 900 convenience retail outlets. 

But its EV rollout plans were dealt a blow last week when Prime Minister Rishi Sunak scrapped the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel car sales.

The move means the uptake of electric vehicles is likely to be slower than forecast as drivers hang on to their petrol and diesel cars for longer, though mandatory EV sales targets remain in place.

MFG confirmed its interest in Morrisons’ stations and 500 plots of land where EV hubs could be set up days before Sunak’s bombshell.

Analysts say MFG may now try to cut the reported £2billion price tag. Morrisons needs to raise cash to pay down huge debts, they add.

Morrisons and MFG declined to comment.



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