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Murphy completes UK refining exit with petrol stations sale

Murphy Petroleum has signed an agreement to sell its UK petrol stations to Motor Fuel Group (MFG), completing its exit from Britain's oil retail market. The deal is worth just under 200 MM pounds ($335 MM) and comes after Murphy agreed to sell its Welsh Milford Haven refinery and distribution terminals to U.S. entrepreneur Gary Klesch.

"Murphy is pleased to announce the signing of this agreement, following closely the signing of the agreement last week for the sale of the Milford Haven refinery," the company said in a statement. The deal is expected to close no later than Sept. 30, it added.

Through the acquisition MFG, which operates around 60 petrol station forecourts in Britain including some operated under the bp and Total brands, will gain 228 petrol stations that will continue to operate under the Murco banner. MFG is majority-owned by investment fund Patron Capital Partners. "The signing of this agreement supports our stated objective to grow Motor Fuel Group into a significant force in the UK forecourt sector," said Stephen Green, senior partner at Patron Capital. Murphy Oil put its British refining and retail subsidiary Murco up for sale more than two years ago. The Arkansas-based company will keep its crude production operations in the British North Sea.

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