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Fuel firm 'considers forecourt bid'

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Greenergy is reportedly mulling over a bid to supply almost half of the nation's forecourts

The UK’s top road fuel supplier, which is part-owned by Tesco, is considering a £1 billion-plus bid for forecourts owned by French oil giant Total and US firm Murco, according to reports.

The expansion plans would see Greenergy operate the acquired petrol stations and help it reach its target of supplying fuel to nearly half the nation’s forecourts, the Mail on Sunday said.

The privately-owned company, of which Tesco owns a 35.6% stake, is considering buying 780 forecourts from Total and 460 from Murco.

Total, the world’s fourth largest energy group, put its forecourts up for sale earlier this year as part of a review of its UK downstream operations.

Greenergy’s new chief executive, Paul Lester, the former boss of defence and shipbuilding group VT, told the Mail on Sunday he had held preliminary talks with the group.

A new five-year plan, being drawn up by Mr Lester and founder and chairman Andrew Owens, aims to double Greenergy’s market share, which would mean it supplied 3,600 of Britain’s 9,000 stations.

Greenergy, which was founded as a bedroom start-up in 1992, already supplies fuel to about 20% of Britain’s petrol stations, including those of BP, Shell and Texaco. It also supplies forecourts owned by Morrisons and Asda.

In 2002, Tesco bought a 25% stake in the company for just £1.9 million, and earlier this year bought Barclays’ 10% stake. The remaining 65% of Greenergy is owned by the founders and employees.

With revenues of £2.8 billion and profits of about £21 million, Greenergy is estimated to be worth more than £300 million.

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