The private equity owner of Morrisons has offered to sell several of its petrol stations following concerns from the competition watchdog that the takeover could lead to higher fuel prices.

Morrisons petrol pump

Morrisons owns 339 petrol stations and MFG runs 921 across the UK

Private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice (CD&R), which won the auction for the grocer in October, is also the owner of MFG, the country’s largest independent petrol stations operator. 

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) opted to investigate the takeover’s impact on fuel prices as MFG owns 921 petrol stations across the UK, while Morrisons has 339.

Last month, the CMA said it believed the £7bn takeover of Morrisons could give rise to a “realistic prospect” of high fuel prices in 121 areas where both companies operate.

CD&R has now offered to divest a number of the petrol stations to gain approval for the takeover.

While the CMA did not disclose how many CD&R was offering to sell, it said “there are reasonable grounds for believing that the undertakings offered by CD&R, or a modified version of them, might be accepted by the CMA”.

The offer comes after fuel prices hit record highs in March following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.