18 Jun 2006

Maxol to strengthen Northern Ireland operation through acquisition of Esso sites

MAXOL TO STRENGTHEN NORTHERN IRELAND OPERATION THROUGH ACQUSITION OF ESSO SITES

The Maxol Group today announced plans to acquire thirteen Esso company-owned service stations in Northern Ireland as part of its all-Ireland development strategy. It plans a £5m modernisation programme for the new sites.

Maxol, is owned by the McMullan family and is one of the largest family-owned companies in Ireland. This move would increase its number of company-owned stations in Northern Ireland to 41. As part of the transaction Maxol will sell three of its stations in the Leinster area to Esso. 

The company said the two parties have agreed a completion date of 14th June 2005.

Chief Executive of the Maxol Group, Tom Noonan said: “This is another major step forward in the development of our all-Ireland strategy which involves substantial investment in the main market sectors in both Northern Ireland and the Republic.”

“Not only is it a significant acquisition of service stations but it will be followed by a heavy investment programme in the order of £5million over the next two years to maximise the potential of each of these new locations under the traditional Maxol retail model. This is good news for Northern Ireland motorists who already have such a strong affinity with our company which, of course, was founded there.”

“We have also been actively bolstering our presence in the Republic of Ireland through a multi-million pound capital development programme to upgrade and expand our filling station network there. At the same time, we have made a number of home heat acquisitions, the best known of which was Connors Fuels, the leading Belfast-based company that we bought in 2000 and now trades as Maxol Direct.”

Brian Donaldson, Maxol’s General Manager in charge of Retail and Marketing added: “In the Republic, a planned programme to develop high-quality service stations has seen investment of €60 million in the period 1996 to 2004. In addition, we acquired 80 sites from Statoil in 1996 and purchased Estuary Fuels in 2002.”

“Maxol’s strong commitment to motorists in Ireland is amply demonstrated by the investment it has made in recent months in such locations as Antrim Road, Edenderry and Belvoir in Belfast, along with Ballyholme and Bryansburn in Bangor. On top of that we have just completed two rebuilds in Westport in County Mayo and Lucan in Dublin with total expenditure on all of these in excess of £5million.”

The company is now actively seeking to recruit operators for the Esso sites and said it did not anticipate that there would be any net effect on employment numbers arising from this latest transaction.  

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