A FAST-growing firm will expand into the US market with a $2bn acquisition to buy convenience stores from a major retailer.

Blackburn-based Euro Garages has broken into the American market after it agreed a $2.15bn deal to buy 762 convenience stores from The Kroger Co.

The purchase covers sites in 18 states and includes 66 franchise operations, totalling more than $4bn in revenue and accounting for 1.2bn gallons of fuel sold in 2016.

As part of the transaction, Euro Garages will establish their North American headquarters in Kroger’s home city of Cincinnati, Ohio and continue to operate stores under their established banner names.

These include Turkey Hill, Loaf ‘N Jug, Kwik Shop, Tom Thumb and Quik Stop and they employ 11,000 associates.

Euro Garages, headquartered on Blackburn’s Beehive Trading Park, was founded by brother Mohsin and Zuber Issa in 2001.

The firm started with just a single petrol filling station in Bury and now has 2,600 sites across the United Kingdom, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Italy,

It has established itself as one of the Britain’s fastest-growing businesses building high-profile partnerships with Subway, Starbucks, Greggs and Burger King.

Their move to the American market marks the latest stage in an incredible 17 years for the company.

Mohsin Issa, Euro Garages (EG) group founder and co-CEO, said entry into the US market presented a ‘fantastic opportunity’ to deliver a successful retail offer to consumers across the various states.

He said: “This is an exciting time for EG Group, the entry into the US market presents a fantastic opportunity to deliver a successful retail offer to consumers across the various states.

“We have had much success across Europe and we firmly believe the Kroger assets present a fantastic foundation to overlay our retail experience and know-how in the US.

“We are committed to investing in the Kroger network, partnering with leading retail brands and working with the exceptional management team and associates transferring across to deliver a comprehensive retail offer.”

Zuber Issa, EG Group Founder and co-CEO, said: “Our business model is simple but effective – EG Group is creating a stronger relationship between consumers and leading retail brands they want to access.

“In the US we aim to create a retail environment which delivers convenience, provides value and serves as a retail destination offering excellent welfare to motorists who live and work near our petrol forecourt convenience retail stores.”

Mike Schlotman, Kroger’s executive vice president and chief financial officer said:“One of the most important considerations in our decision-making process was to enable continued operations to ensure minimal disruption to our associates.

“We are very pleased the EG Group plans to establish their North American headquarters in Cincinnati. EG Group is a recognized international petrol forecourt convenience operator and they have a commercial model which clearly looks to enhance the consumer offer by working with leading retail brands customers know and trust.

“This transaction is good for our associates across the country and for our headquarter city of Cincinnati.

“Throughout the process we were impressed with the EG Group’s professionalism, investment commitment and more importantly their understanding of the US convenience retail market.

“We now look forward to working with them closely to ensure a smooth transition for associates.”

The transaction is still subject to regulatory approval.