British petrol station owner’s £5billion takeover in jeopardy Business

A £5billion auction of Britain’s biggest oil fork operator is under threat amid fears the government will step in over fears private equity owners will driving up prices at the pump.

Motor Fuel Group (MFG) suitors fear ministers will order a competition inquiry into the sale of the business to protect households as they weather the cost of living crisis, sources say. town.

MFG, owned by private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice (CD&R), operates more than 900 service stations in the UK under the Shell, BP, Esso, Murco and Texaco brands. It sells around 6% of all fuel sold at the pump in Britain.

Citi, Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Canada and Goldman Sachs are among a long list of advisers who have been lined up to explore options, including a sell, on behalf of CD&R.

Fortress Investment Group, which was trapped by CD&R in a bidding war for Morrisons last year, has been linked to a bid for MFG.

But a source involved in the process warned that investment firms are wary of intervention by the government, which is armed with new post-Brexit powers to investigate takeovers.

Of particular concern is that private equity firms can exploit record pump prices by keeping prices artificially high.

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This notice was published: 2022-04-03 19:00:00

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