Patron buys petrol station portfolio

Real estate private equity firm backs buyout of Motor Fuels Group, the UK’s fifth largest petrol station company. The deal inherits the London-based firm 58, mostly freehold, petrol stations.

Patron Capital has bought Motor Fuels Group in the UK in a deal that sees the real estate private equity firm capture 58, mostly freehold, petrol stations.

The London-based firm said it had brought the company in a joint venture with oil industry veteran Alasdair Locke and members of a new management team that will oversee day-to-day operations of the company in a  deal, the value of which, was kept under wraps.

It is understood that Patron made the investment on behalf of Patron Capital IV, its latest European opportunity fund rumoured to have held a first close last year.

Motor Fuels Group is the UK’s fifth largest chain of independent petrol filling stations. It was founded by entrepreneurs Sailesh Sejpal and Sharad Raja in 2002 when it was then known as Fuelstop.

Patron provided the majority of the equity for the transaction alongside Locke and members of the management team, the firm said.  Debt finance was provided by Investec Growth & Acquisition Finance, which is part of Investec Bank.

Stephen Green, Patron’s partner, special situations, said: “This transaction is an excellent example of the real estate backed operating business investments that Patron Capital seeks, with significant opportunities for growth in a fragmented and consolidating sector.”