In the same week that the OFT agreed to reconsider its views on the effect of multiple grocers’ entry into the c-store sector, it gave the green light to Tesco’s acquisition of another 21 petrol forecourts.

The OFT ruled that it had no competition concerns with the purchase, so it will not be refer- ring the deal to the Competition Commission.Tesco was waiting for clearance from the regulators before completing the sale, and all 21 forecourt stores will now be converted to the Tesco Express c-store format, the multiple giant said.

The stores have been acquired from Morrisons as a result of the break-up of an old BP/Safeway joint venture. A further nine stores are to be operated by BP or Somerfield in the future. Neither Tesco nor Morrisons revealed the final sale price, although the 30 sites in question were valued at an average of £1.8m each.