euro garages

Euro Garages is buying four sites from collapsed independent retailer rival High Noon Stores in a £1m deal, just days after taking over 70 Little Chef roadside cafés.

Administrators at High Noon Stores, Smith & Williamson, confirmed the forecourt operator had snapped up Wye Cottage, Royal Wootton Bassett, Downs Filling Station in Cowbridge, and Whitemill from the stricken group.

High Noon Stores had operated 15 convenience stores and forecourts across South Wales, but fell into administration at the end of 2016.

Smith & Williamson, appointed administrators on 27 January, said it was progressing on deals for the four remaining sites following High Noon’s collapse, with five being handed back to lease owners Brecon Properties One. It said it was unable to sell two of the properties as their licences had expired.

Greg Palfrey, head of restructuring and recovery at Smith & Williamson, said he was surprised by the huge interest that had been shown in the market.

“What we are trying to do is get the sales away and to keep as many people in jobs as possible,” he said.

“What has been fascinating is how much demand there has been. So whatever people say with the situation with the economy, there is a huge demand for forecourts and convenience stores.”

The announcement comes just days after the £1.3bn-valued Euro Garages, whose partner brands include Starbucks, Greggs and Burger King, bought 70 Little Chef sites from Kuwaiti-owned Kout Food Group for an undisclosed fee.

The deals take its portfolio to 430 properties as it continues with growth plans following its merger with European Forecourt Retail Group in October 2016.

Euro Garages declined to comment.