Capital advises Ascona on acquisition of 17 petrol filling stations

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Our client, Ascona Group, has just bought Cornwall Garage Group, a portfolio of 17 petrol filling stations, located across the Midlands, Home Counties and South West of England.

From its base in west Wales, Ascona operate retail sites in the petrol retail sector across the UK. We started working with them in 2018, to develop a business strategy that would help them achieve its aim – to operate and own a network of at least 50 modern retail sites.

Together with the acquisition of Cornwall Garage Group, Ascona has more than doubled its sites portfolio within one calendar year, massively overshooting what it once considered an aspirational business plan.  Ascona are now ranked 10 in the UK’s independent fuel retailer league table and are now on track to own and operate over 100 petrol station sites by the end of 2020.

Our Real Estate, Corporate and Banking teams supported the transaction, which by nature required heavy commercial property and property finance support. We also advised on the refinance of Ascona’s existing 20 site portfolio and helped secure funding from Octopus Real Estate Finance, to unlock the transaction.

This work involved extensive and co-ordinated due diligence, preparation of reports on title for the client and the funder, advice on extensive property, enviro and planning warranties in the purchase agreement, and feeding into extensive property conditions in the overarching funding agreements with Octopus.

Darren Briggs, Managing Director at Ascona, said:

“We are extremely grateful for Capital’s diligence, professionalism and good humour. The Capital Law team headed by Leanne O’Brien have been world class and have supported Ascona throughout the entire legal process. We look forward to our next transaction and couldn’t conceive of finding a better legal business partner to work with over the next few years.”

Leanne O’Brien, Head of Real Estate at Capital Law, said:

“It’s an exciting time for Ascona and we’re delighted to be supporting this Welsh business in achieving its ambitions. The acquisition of these 17 sites represents a new milestone for Ascona and for our relationship, as it required intense collaboration between the client, our own teams and other parties involved. Darren and his team are a pleasure to work with – sensible, clear, expert and appreciative – and we look forward to the next project.”