OUR STORY SO FAR
In 1919 a group of soldiers from Leeds were demobbed close to Bayford in Hertfordshire. When they returned to Yorkshire they chose that village name for their new coal merchant’s business. Since then the Bayford Group has been involved in a variety of businesses but the core has always been energy.
Moving into oil distribution in the early 1960s and then into petrol retailing in 1969, the company began to diversify into property investment and development, opencast coal mining, shipping, electronics, pollution prevention and fuel cards.
The acquisition of Burmah Oil in 1995 took the oil business to a national level and other acquisitions quickly followed. Alongside the property entrepreneur Jack Petchey the Group led the acquisition of the Save Group PLC, the UK’s largest independent petrol company out of administration in 2000 with 412 petrol stations. The acquisition of the Gulf brand quickly followed and the company was by now supplying energy across the whole of the UK. A new business – Gulf Lubricants UK Ltd was formed as well as a move into the supply of aviation fuels for the first time. Gulf Aviation was also started from scratch as one of the first new entrants in that market since the end of the second world war.
A move into providing fuel cards to businesses across the UK in the early 1990s led to partnerships with all the oil majors alongside Bayford’s own brands. The acquisition of the large fuel bunkering company Routemate consolidated Bayford’s place as one of the largest and earliest pioneers in this sector. This business grew substantially leading to the formation of The Fuel Card Company PLC.
A Family Management Buyout (FAMBO) was completed in 2004 by the current Chief Executive, Jonathan Turner, who continued to develop and expand the Group alongside Managing Director, Elizabeth Slater.
The Sunday Times recognised the Bayford Group as a ‘Top 100 Company to Work For’ a few years in a row, as the team grew the business organically, as well as through acquisitions, with a strong team spirit.
Following the disposal of some of the Group’s energy activities, investment continued to be made in fuelcard businesses, diverse property interests, consumer products, and in 2013 a start-up oil distribution and fuelcard business in Scotland – Oilfast and Diesel24.
The Group Head Office at Bowcliffe Hall Estate, Bramham, adjacent to the A1M, is a prime location for the Group’s national business interests. It also provides an exclusive home from home environment for a range of tenants, who enjoy the Estate’s multi award winning conference and events facilities. In 2013, a year-long building and renovation project on the Bowcliffe Estate created the multi award winning Blackburn Wing, an innovative conference and event space, and the Bowcliffe Drivers’ Club, a private members club. The work also created four further office spaces from redundant buildings on the Estate.
In 2017, the Bayford Group acquired the licence to set up Gulf Gas & Power for the UK and the Netherlands, selling great value gas and electricity to homes and businesses. The acquisition of E Gas and Power Ltd in 2020 with over 170,000 customers made the Group a significant player and challenger to the big six energy providers.
The Yorke Arms, located in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales and Laudale Estate on the West Coast of Scotland have both been fully refurbished and complement the Group’s hospitality businesses. Both are available for exclusive private hire for friends, family or corporate use.
The global move away from fossil fuels has allowed Bayford to move into the supply of Electric Vehicle charging points for businesses and homes. The company has recently become the largest shareholder in RAW Charging which is installing EV chargepoints into businesses and leisure facilities across the country.
Bayford still retains a significant shareholding in The Right Fuelcard Company after selling a majority stake to Edenred plc. Bayford is also currently the largest shareholder in Fulcrum PLC, a multi utility infrastructure installer which operates at the heart of the UK’s aim towards Net Zero emissions.
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