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DCC buy French Esso stations for E106m

Thursday, August 28 10:35:53

DCC, the Irish-based international support services and fuel distribution firm, this morning said it is buying nearly 400 Esso petrol stations in France for E106m.

It said it has struck a deal with Esso Societe Anonyme Francaise (Esso SAF) to acquire the assets that comprise the Esso Express unmanned retail petrol station network and the Esso Motorway concessions in France.

The transaction is expected to complete in the first half of next year.

The total consideration will be E106 million, plus stock in tank at the date of acquisition, all payable in cash on completion.

This will be DCC Energy's second major acquisition in the European unmanned retail petrol station market following the acquisition of Qstar in Sweden in May 2014 and is a further step in the execution of DCC's strategy to build a larger presence in the transport fuels sector.

The acquisition will comprise: Esso SAF's network of 274 Esso Express unmanned petrol stations; 48 Esso branded motorway concessions; and contracts to supply 75 Dealer Owned Dealer Operated sites. As part of the transaction, DCC Energy will enter into a long term branded supply agreement with Esso SAF.

Esso SAF was the pioneer of the unmanned format for retail petrol stations in France when it converted its full service network to the Express format 15 years ago. Esso Express (and the related dealer supply business) sells 1.7 billion litres of fuel. The Motorway Sites comprise 48 full service petrol stations selling 230 million litres of fuel located on motorways across France. These sites are operated under concession contracts for fixed periods which are subject to a public re-tendering process at the expiry of each concession. The management of the retail operations on the Motorway Sites is outsourced to one of the world's leading operators in the contract catering and support services industry.

The acquired business will have annual volumes of approximately 1.9 billion litres, revenues of approximately E2.2 billion and is expected to generate an initial return on invested capital of approximately 15pc.

On completion of the acquisition, DCC Energy will operate 672 retail service stations across Europe and supply in excess of 2,000 dealer owned service stations. On a pro-forma basis, DCC Energy's product split by volume will be 58pc road transport fuels, 16pc commercial fuels, 16pc heating oil and 10pc LPG.

Tommy Breen, Chief Executive of DCC plc, said today: "The acquisition of Esso SAF Retail will be DCC Energy's first acquisition in France and the second major acquisition in the European retail petrol station market following the acquisition of Qstar announced in February 2014. It represents a significant further step in DCC's strategy to build a larger presence in the transport fuels sector and provides DCC with an excellent platform for growth in the French market."

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