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Watson Fuels

Watson Fuels bought by American energy giant

Wiltshire-based Watson Fuels has been sold to US-based World Fuel Services Corp for £117m.

The family-owned company, which employs 670 people, is one of the UK’s largest fuel distributors, delivering petrol, diesel, heating oil, lubricants and other products to residential, industrial and agricultural customers across England and Wales.

Founded in 1957, the firm is famous for its distinctive red tanker lorries. Headquartered in Brinkworth, near Malmesbury, it has 50 depots across the UK – the latest, opened in December, is in York – and its 2013 revenues are expected to be around £1.34 billion.

Managing director Tony Watson said: “We are very excited to be joining a company with the capabilities and breadth of products and services of World Fuel.

“Coupled with World Fuel’s solid financial foundation, this transaction will allow us to expand our product and service offerings and further grow our distribution network.”

“We look forward to welcoming the Watson Petroleum team to World Fuel Services,” said Michael J. Kasbar, president and chief executive officer of World Fuel Services Corporation.

“Combined with our existing land business in the United Kingdom, this transaction will further solidify Watson’s position as one of the largest distributors of ground-based fuels in the United Kingdom and will provide a platform for further growth in the ground fuels space in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Europe.”