Morrisons’ new owner, Clayton, Dubilier and Rice Holdings LLC’s (CD&R), is set to sell 87 of its petrol stations to address competition concerns raised by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on its £7bn takeover of the supermarket.
Following its investigation, the CMA raised the competition concerns in relation to the supply of petrol and diesel road fuel in 121 local areas across England, Scotland and Wales, which could lead to higher prices for motorists in these locations.
The CMA has proposed to accept this offer from CD&R despite the proposal to sell being lower than the number of areas in which concerns were identified, as the sale of some petrol stations will reportedly address the concerns in multiple areas.
The watchdog said the offer is “suitable” to restore the loss of competition brought about by the deal across each of the 121 local areas.
CD&R is the owner of the Motor Fuel Group (MFG), the largest independent operator of petrol stations in the United Kingdom, with 921 sites. Meanwhile, Morrisons operates 339 petrol stations across England, Scotland and Wales.
Colin Raftery, CMA senior director of mergers, said: “The sale of these petrol stations will preserve competition and prevent motorists from losing out due to this deal, which is particularly important when prices have recently hit record highs.
“If we conclude that the competition issues have been addressed following a consultation on CD&R’s offer, the deal will be cleared.”