Fuelling business, driving change

When Watson Petroleum Limited, the Wiltshire-based fuel distribution business, was acquired by World Fuel Services Corporation, one of the largest global fuel logistics companies in the world, their long term advisers Thrings were able to advise on every step of the way to secure a successful outcome.

The $191million transaction deal signalled latest stage in the relationship between Thrings and Watson Petroleum which first began in 1957.

Led by corporate partners John Davies and Simon Hore, Thrings worked closely with the owners of Watson Petroleum on all strategic and legal matters. Corporate finance advice was provided by Grant Thornton.

John Davies said: “Thrings has enjoyed a close working relationship with Watson Petroleum for almost six decades. I have taken great pleasure working alongside managing director Tony Watson and his team on the acquisition of more than 20 fuel distribution businesses throughout the UK. During that time our focus has remained on consistently providing a first-class standard of legal advice.

“This deal was no exception, and we are delighted to have successfully negotiated the legal complexities which helped bring matters to a positive conclusion for all parties.”

At the time of the sale, Watson Petroleum, which employed 670 staff and supplied commercial fuels and industrial lubricants throughout the UK via its network of 45 depots and approved suppliers.

Tony Watson said: "World Fuel Services is one of the world’s largest global fuel logistics companies and was recently ranked 74th in the Fortune 500. Recognising its extensive capabilities, breadth of products and services and solid financial foundation, we felt the acquisition would present us with a significant strategic opportunity to expand our product and service offering, accelerate plans to develop our distribution network and offer our clients and staff a clear and exciting future.

“But none of this would be possible without the deal being finalised, and our relationship with Thrings during the entire process was fundamental to its eventual success. John and Simon were thorough, meticulous and demonstrated great commercial awareness at every stage, as well as being friendly and extremely easy to deal with. I can always rely on John and his team to provide a first-class service and a level of discretion which cannot be underestimated.”

For more information contact Thrings' Corporate team.

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