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Dealwatch: Pinsents, Travers, CC join Debevoise on £500m Motor Fuel Group disposal

A trio of LB100 firms –Travers Smith, Clifford Chance, Pinsent Masons – have lined up alongside Debevoise & Plimpton in landing key roles on Patron Capital’s recent £500m sale of one of the UK’s biggest independent petrol station operators, Motor Fuel Group, to US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R).

Travers advised the seller, pan-European institutional investor Patron Capital, with a team led by private equity partner Edmund Reed. Clifford Chance corporate partner Simon Tinkler advised CD&R on the purchase, while Debevoise & Plimpton advised the US company and its management with London-based partner Alan Davies leading a team including Richard Ward and Matthew Saronson. Pinsent Masons’ retail and consumer head Tom Leman advised Motor Fuel Group.

The deal will see CD&R own a stake of around 85%. Following the acquisition, MFG’s chair Alasdair Locke will remain in his position, and former Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy, a senior advisor to CD&R’s funds, will also join the board of MFG.

MFG is second-largest independent petrol and convenience retailer in the UK. Through a series of acquisitions Patron and MFG management have grown the company from 48 sites in 2011 to 373 sites.

Travers has previously advised longstanding client Patron Capital on the sale of Gracewell Health Care for £153m in 2014, while CC has received several high-profile mandates from CD&R, including advising on its sale of British Car Auctions for £1.2bn to Haversham Holdings in March, as well as its acquisition of Mauser Group for €1.2bn last year.

Debevoise has a longstanding relationship with the US private equity house, with recent deals includes advising on its agreement to acquire Ashland Water Technologies for €1.8bn last year.

The latest deal is expected to complete in July.