Driving operational change
We identified EFR as having operational enhancement opportunities where we could leverage our expertise in building consumer-facing, multi-site businesses, as well as the opportunity to combine with Euro Garages to create a leader in the industry.
EG Group is one of the European leaders in forecourt convenience retailing. It was formed in November 2016 when we merged European Forecourt Retail Group ("EFR"), which comprised over 1,100 retail sites in Benelux and France, with Euro Garages, a leading forecourt retail business in the UK.
Following the merger, EG Group has over 1,450 sites across the UK, France and Benelux. Its fuel retail brands (Esso, BP, Shell and Texaco) are complemented by a leading non-fuel offering including brands such as Starbucks, Sainsbury’s, Subway, Greggs, Louis Delhaize and Carrefour.
We had been following the downstream fuel and convenience retail and highway service station space for some time.
Through a combination of our in-depth knowledge of the business, as well as expertise and a strong track record of successfully investing in consumer-facing multi-site businesses, we were able to favourably position ourselves with both the seller and the management team of EFR. This advantage allowed us to avoid a competitive process and ultimately negotiate the transaction on a bilateral basis, completing our initial investment in EFR in August 2014.
What we've done
EFR had significant operational transformation potential at acquisition resulting from its legacy oil-major ownership and a relatively untapped retail opportunity. Since acquiring the business, TDR has led operating initiatives to drive the business forward, which has resulted in a significant organic uplift in earnings. Alongside these operational activities, during our diligence of EFR we developed a relationship with the founders of UK-based Euro Garages. Euro Garages was founded in 2001 from a single site in Bury, Greater Manchester and has since grown to c. 340 sites in the UK. The business is widely recognised as one of the best forecourt retail operators in Europe, with a unique owner-managed business model and proprietary branded back-court non-fuel offer. With a vision of a future combination of EFR and Euro Garages, we made an investment in their business at the start of 2016. The merger of the two businesses completed in November 2016.
Date of investment: August 2014
Deal type: Private sale
Status: Partially realised