graham sims

Independent petrol station owner and operator HKS Holdings has appointed Graham Sims as non-executive chairman to lead “a new accelerated investment, growth and development strategy”.

Sims, the man behind the launch of Wild Bean Café at BP, will spearhead the group’s expansion into other consumer sectors - which it declined to specify - while continuing the development of its existing portfolio, HKS will look to enhance its retail offer and pursue partnership options with other brands in food and convenience.

Sims, who left BP in 2006, where he was retail director for five years, has an extensive record across a range of corporate and private equity-backed businesses in several industries including oil, retail and hospitality.

He integrated several household brand partners into BP forecourts, across the UK and globally. He oversaw the launch of the first BP Connect containing Marks & Spencer’s Simply Food format and worked on the launch of the Nectar loyalty scheme.

His position became surplus to requirements following a European efficiency programme. He is currently chairman of Royal Berkshire Hospital.

HKS has 60 sites with more acquisitions in the pipeline, according to the company.

“Following the strong growth of HKS in recent years, we’re looking at an increased focus on a growth strategy and Graham’s appointment will be the catalyst for the increasing the pace of our business, bringing with him the years of experience and expertise to guide our development,” said HKS Holdings chief executive Shane Thakrar.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the implementation of various ideas and concepts backed by Graham, moving into varying consumer opportunities and increasing our offering to customers.”

Sims said he thought HKS was “one of the most progressive businesses” in the sector.

“The key aspect for me is utilising and leveraging my past, external experience and working with them to build accelerated investment and development options for the business.”

HKS completed the acquisition of the £120m Brobot Group last November, giving it a further 23 service stations.