Supermarket chain Morrisons is embroiled in a legal battle with Equans EV Solutions, a subsidiary of the French conglomerate Bouygues, over the sale of its petrol forecourts, the Sunday Times has reported.  

In April 2024 the Motor Fuel Group (MFG) completed the acquisition of 337 Morrisons petrol forecourts, including fuel, convenience retail kiosks and ancillary services, in a £2.5bn ($3.2bn) deal.  

MFG is owned by US private equity group Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R). Morrisons was taken over by CD&R in a deal valued at $9.5bn (£7bn). 

The petrol forecourts deal led to Morrisons being accused of breaching an agreement it signed with Equans in 2019. 

The agreement granted Equans exclusive rights to install electric vehicle (EV) chargers at 273 Morrisons locations.  

After the announcement of the petrol forecourts deal in January 2024, Morrisons is alleged to have abandoned the agreement with Equans. 

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Equans claims that it had already installed chargers at 260 Morrisons sites by the time the supermarket walked away from the agreement. 

In a claim filed in the High Court, Equans labelled Morrisons’ decision “arbitrary, irrational and capricious”.  

It is seeking to enforce its exclusivity rights and also pursuing damages. 

The Sunday Times reports that Morrisons has countered the lawsuit with claims that there was no valid contract in place and that Equans had not met service level targets, resulting in substantial losses for the retailer.  

The supermarket chain is also seeking compensation and is expected to submit its defence by the end of May 2024.