BGF has successfully exited its investment into Leicester-headquartered MPK Garages, an independent operator of fuel forecourts under the Texaco and Gulf brands. The company has been acquired by Stratford Retail Group as part of its strategy to build a group of fuel and retail forecourts in the UK.
BGF initially invested £7m alongside a further £7m from HSBC in March 2016 to support the expansion of MPK’s portfolio and to refresh seven sites within the existing estate. The new sites, which all feature retail outlets in addition to the fuel forecourts, have been added in Belper (Derbyshire), Stanley (County Durham) and Stretton (Leicestershire). BGF’s funding also provided some equity release for the founding Majithia family at a time when they were ready to derisk.
The deal has produced a strong return for all shareholders, who will exit in full as part of this transaction.
MPK Garages was set up in 1979 by Shanti Majithia and has been managed by Paul Kershaw since 2004. Kershaw will remain in his role as Managing Director with Stratford Retail Group. Chair Keith Fleming, who was introduced by BGF and has provided strategic support and guidance to the business, will step down from his role as part of the transaction.
Paul Kershaw said: “The acquisition by Stratford Retail provides an opportunity to become part of larger group at the beginning stages of its growth strategy. This is a great reflection on the strength of MPK’s operations, team and culture.
“BGF’s funding helped us maintain momentum around our rollout strategy and scale-up our operations. In little over two years, the partnership has placed the business in a strong position for future growth.”
BGF’s Gurinder Sunner who served on the board of MPK added: “This is a great opportunity for Paul, the management team and MPK and we are pleased to be supporting their decision. While we were not actively seeking an exit, Stratford Retail Group provides an exciting opportunity for MPK, which will become a valued member of our alumni. We wish the team all the best for the future.”
MPK was advised by Intelligent Corporate Finance and Freeths, and the deal was led for BGF by Gurinder Sunner and Joanne Smith.