BP raises $500 million from sale of UK petrol station leases

FILE PHOTO: File photograph shows a sign is outside BP's North Sea Headquarters in Aberdeen, Scotland January 15, 2015. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

LONDON (Reuters) - BP BP.L has raised £400 million ($517 million) from the sale of a stake in land leases of 199 British petrol stations to a UK pension fund.

The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) acquired a 49% of the freehold leases, USS said in a statement dated Oct. 7.

BP will hold the remaining 51% stake in a newly created limited partnership, Exmoor Properties PFLP.

It will also continue to operate the sites under long-term leases, the London-based energy company said in a statement.

BP aims to sell $25 billion in assets by 2025, around half of which it says have been sold or agreed on, in order to reduce a ballooning debt pile and pay for its plans to rapidly grow its renewables business.

BP has 300 company-owned petrol stations in Britain and a further 900 dealer-owned and operated sites.

The USS deal follows similar retail property transactions BP had made in both Australia and New Zealand.

(This story fixes words in last paragraph)

Reporting by Ron Bousso; editing by Jason Neely