Jul 13, 2021

BP takes full control of US fuel station business

BP has bought out its private equity partner in a chain of US fuel stations, marking a return to the owned-and-operated model for retail sites in the US as energy majors bet on strong growth in electric vehicle charging and convenience stores. The group will take full control of 208 Thorntons sites, buying out ArcLight Capital Partners' majority stake, as part of BP's plans to double earnings from its "Convenience and mobility business" to $10bn globally by 2030. The move back into retail is something of a reversal for the oil industry, which largely sold off or franchised its branded fuel stations in the past decade, as companies poured capital into oil exploration and production while prices rose. In the UK BP has partnered with retailer Marks and Spencer, installing "M&S Simply Food" stores at more than 300 fuel stations. BP's earnings were hit hard in 2020 by a 14 per cent drop in fuel sales from its retail network as the pandemic crimped demand.

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