Forecourt operator Malthurst is expanding its business, having acquired seven BP forecourt sites, with five further sites earmarked for purchase.

The company, launched nine years ago, now owns more than 150 sites, including the BP forecourts, two of which are in Scotland with the other five in London and the south east.

All its stores are franchised out to self-employed operators under a variety of oil company brands, with some part of Spar’s estate.

“Some of the new stores will be Spar-branded,” said Brian Thompson, director of Malthurst and Pace Petroleum, in which the directors of Malthurst hold a stake. “We will evaluate them after a few months.”

Thompson would not reveal the location of the five stores currently in the pipeline and said there were no concrete targets for growth beyond these sites.

Malthurst intended to continue to expand across its existing territories in Scotland, Wales and England, said Thompson. “We would look to expand wherever we can and wherever it is economically feasible, although it is getting more difficult to buy forecourt businesses. We would like to find niche sites where the competition is not so aggressive.”

Pace Petroleum, formerly operating under the Q8 brand, has 125 company-owned sites and supplies 180 dealer sites. It is also keen to expand, but is currently focusing on integrating the 60 stores it bought from Texaco last year, said Thompson.