J SAINSBURY said yesterday it will buy 18 Total petrol stations across the country from Rontec as the retailer looks to expand its fuel business and grow the number of convenience stores.
The deal, which is subject to approval from the Office of Fair Trading, includes seven Total-branded stations in London, as well as sites in the Midlands, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.
Phillip Bell-Brown, director of property development at Sainsbury’s, said yesterday: “The acquisitions provide a unique opportunity to support our plans for growth and to extend the reach of the Sainsbury’s brand.”
The retailer is understood to be interested in fitting some of the larger sites with its Sainsbury’s Local stores, while also keeping the pumps.
The OFT said it was considering whether the deal would result “in a substantial lessening of competition in the UK fuel market”. Sainsbury’s currently has 262 fuel outlets, according to Experian.
Rontec is a consortium led by tycoon Gerald Ronson’s Snax 24 service station business. Last year it bought 810 filling stations from French giant Total before selling 254 of them to Shell for £240m.