Esso has sold 200 of its company-owned sites to forecourt operators Euro Garages, MRH GB and Rontec Investments.

Euro Garages has picked up 104 of the 201 sites, MRH 78 and Rontec 19. They are all in the south or south east of England and include a long-term branded fuel supply agreement with the oil giant.

Consumers would still be able to buy Esso-branded fuel, use their Esso cards and buy Mobil-branded lubricants at these sites, Esso added.

News of the deal comes as The Grocer publishes its 13th annual ranking of the UK’s Top 50 independent grocery retailers.

MRH topped the list with sales up 24% to £1.6bn. Euro Garages, meanwhile, was fifth with sales of £646m. Rontec does not qualify for The Top 50 because it is less than 50% owned by family or management.