Shell UK has accepted offers for the sale of 185 company-owned service stations to independent dealers.

The group has already exchanged contracts with Motor Fuel Group (MFG) and Euro Garages for 90 and 68 of these sites respectively. It expects the contracts for the remaining service stations to be exchanged in the coming weeks.

The 185 service stations are spread across the UK and will retain the Shell brand.

David Moss, Shell’s retail general manager, North Europe, said: “I’m pleased these dealers have chosen to grow their businesses with Shell and are as committed as we are to delivering high-quality products and customer service.

“Our retail business is going from strength to strength, with record sales of our premium fuel, Shell V-Power Nitro+, the growth of our popular Deli2Go food and beverage range and our new relationship with PayPal, which will offer mobile payment to more than four million customers a week.”

MFG’s managing director Jeremy Clarke said: “This acquisition gives us 90 high volume, quality stations that reinforce our commitment to become one of the most dynamic and profitable independent forecourt operators in the UK.

“We are looking forward to working with Shell to maximise the potential of these sites to the benefit of our customers.”

He said the sites would be transferring to MFG during the summer and early autumn. The acquisition brings the total number of petrol filling stations that will be owned by MFG to 373, making it one of the largest independent fuel station operators in the UK.

The sale of 185 Shell service stations marks the end of a commercial process, which began in September 2014, following the strategic decision to reduce the number of Shell company-owned service stations to around 550 and expand the dealer network.