FUEL company Total is set to sell its Isle of Man business.
A spokesman for the French company couldn’t comment on the implications of the sale, leaving its 50 staff with an uncertain future.
‘Total has signed a sale and purchase agreement to sell most of its marketing assets in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man to Rontec Investments LLP, a consortium led by Snax 24, one of the leading independent forecourt operators in the UK,’ he said.
‘The assets included within this agreement consist of Total’s UK retail network, comprising 810 Total-branded service stations, its Butler heating oil business, the associated logistics infrastructure, as well as its Channel Islands and Isle of Man businesses.’
He added: ‘The Rontec Investments consortium comprises Snax 24, one of the leading independent forecourt groups in the UK; Grovepoint, a London-based, independent principal investment firm; and Investec, an international specialist bank and asset manager.
‘This transaction, which is expected to complete later in 2011, is in line with the Group’s strategy of rationalising its downstream portfolio in Europe.
‘The sale process for Total’s refining assets in the UK is ongoing.’
The news has not come as a complete shock.
Last year Total announced that following a strategic review there were plans to sell its service stations and fuel supply and that Total Isle of Man operations would be sold as part of the package.
Total has operated in the Isle of Man since 1989.
The company – which has its fuel depot and main base in Peel – owns five service stations in the Isle of Man and supplies six more. Those owned are Peel Road Service Station in Douglas, Lezayre Filling Station in Ramsey, Little Switzerland Service Station in Douglas, Kirk Michael Service Station, and the Wessex Service Station in Douglas.
Those supplied – and owned by other businesses – are Laxey Filling Station, Foxdale Service Station, S&S Motors Ltd in Castletown, Corkills Forecourt in Onchan, Corner Shop Filling Station on Bray Hill in Douglas and Empire Garage in Peel.
Total is also one of the major suppliers of heating oil in the Isle of Man, the other being Manx Petroleums.