With this sale, the company will concentrate in the UK on supplying high quality Esso fuels to independent service station operators that will continue to operate the sites as Esso-branded service stations.
It will mark the completion of a major transformation of Esso’s retail business, transferring its operations at 400 sites to independent specialists while maintaining its branded presence.
Esso has already completed the sale of its company-owned service stations in Scotland, north Wales and northern England, and similar transfers are expected to be completed in the first half of this year in south Wales and south west England, and in The Midlands and eastern England.
Purchasers are now being sought for the remaining sites, which are located in central and southern England. We expect the programme to be completed by the end of 2015.
“This portfolio of excellent, well-established sites will provide would-be purchasers with a rare opportunity to build a strong retail foothold in the prosperous South East,” says Simon Herbert, Director, Esso Petroleum Company, Limited.
“We’re delighted with the development of our business in other regions since we adopted this new business model, which combines Esso’s excellence in producing and promoting high quality fuels, with the increasingly sophisticated retail specialisation of independent service station operators, such as Greenergy, Euro Garages, Rontec and MRH.”
Esso’s new approach to the UK market has already boosted its presence, as MRH and Rontec, have also chosen to switch some of their existing service stations to the Esso brand.
“With these additions, Esso’s retail presence has grown to over 1,000 sites – all providing the high quality fuels, lubricants and excellent customer service that consumers have come to expect from an Esso-branded site,” adds Simon Herbert.
The changes described in this announcement do not include any service stations operated under the Esso Tesco Alliance (Tesco shop + Esso branded forecourt).
There are more than 1,000 Esso-branded service stations in the UK. Together they serve around 800,000 customers each day.
Last year Esso introduced Esso energy Supreme Diesel to its product range at selected sites in the UK, and began offering Clubcard points, which are now available at more than 900 Esso service stations.
Esso was also the first UK retailer to sell unleaded petrol, the first major oil company to sell lead replacement petrol, and was instrumental in making ultra low sulphur diesel and ultra low sulphur petrol available nationwide.