Lack of supply driving prices for filling stations

Christie & Co’s team of specialist retail agents has seen strong demand for all types of petrol stations across the country, driven by a number of acquisitive operators, lenders looking to lend into the sector and a general lack of supply. Underlying the activity in the sector are a number of high profile acquisitions by private equity backed funds including Euro Garages, MRH (GB) and Motor Fuel Group.

In 2015 Christie & Co inspected 490 petrol filling stations for a variety of purposes including sale, appraisal and valuation. Our clients cover the whole of the market from the largest corporate operators to single site owners and first time buyers.

It is clear that both operators and lenders see the petrol filling station market as an exciting, secure investment driven by needs based on fuel demand and the opportunity for an increased convenience offering, takeaway coffee and hot food sales which run alongside fuel sales.

We expect the market to remain buoyant through the middle of the year. Whilst the EU referendum may well take the country’s mind off day-to-day matters, once the result is known there is nothing to suggest that either outcome will have any material effect on petrol retailers.

We expect to see further demand from group operators looking to expand their estates – many of whom have new financial partners keen to support further growth. We also expect to see further development moves towards a modern convenience offer with more and more emphasis on associated sales like coffee and hot food. Buyers are, in particular, looking for sites with potential to improve the shop either through extension or complete knock down and rebuild.

All this demand means that the market for sellers remains positive.