The EU has approved the acquisition of a business unit of an oil and gas firm by a British garage and service station group.
Intervias Group will purchase 1,176 Esso-branded service stations around Italy from Esso Italiana S.R.L, an ExxonMobil company.
A long term fuel supply agreement will mean the fuel sold at the sites will continue to be made and branded by Esso.
Under the EU Merger Regulation, the European Commission approved the deal, judging it would not raise any competition concerns because the two businesses are not active in the same Member States.
Intervias is active in the operation of fuel stations, convenience stores, car washes, bakeries, restaurants, hotel activities and car rentals in Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the UK.
The appetite for mergers and acquisitions in the power and utilities sector is up 12% to a seven-year high.