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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Insider’s View: 2014 M&A Review Pt. 2
Smaller deals show promise for an even more volatile 2015

Source: CSP Daily News
By Dennis L. Ruben, Executive Managing Director, NRC Realty & Capital Advisors LLC

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- While big-name deals that included Couche-Tard, The Pantry, Speedway, Hess, CST Brands and Susser Holdings stole the merger-and-acquisition headlines in 2014, there were numerous smaller, but no-less notable transactions throughout the year.

Here’s a look back.

  • Fortress Investment Group, a New York-based investment management firm, acquired United Oil Co., consisting of about 130 sites in the Los Angeles and San Diego metropolitan markets, including 40 kiosk-style locations. United is also a distributor of Shell, ConocoPhillips/76 and Valero brand fuel in Southern California and delivers fuel to approximately 100 dealer sites. Although the purchase price was not disclosed, it was rumored to have been in the range of $450 million to $500 million.
  • Par Petroleum Corp., the parent company of Hawaii Independent Energy LLC, agreed to acquire Koko’oha Investments Inc., the parent company of Mid Pac Petroleum LLC, for $107 million. The acquisition involved 80 gasoline stations and c-stores under the 76 fuel brand.
  • Empire Petroleum Partners LLC was extremely active in the acquisitions arena in 2014. Early in the year, it acquired 83 wholesale distribution contracts from King Fuels Inc., a fuel distributor in the Houston market. Empire also acquired 59 fuel-supply agreements and real-estate and leasehold assets in the Atlanta market from Georgia Oil Holdings. In the third quarter, Empire acquired the retail dealer business of Mansfield Oil Co. of Gainesville Inc. and merged it into Empire. The combination of Empire and Mansfield will create a national dealer-focused fuel distributor that services more than 1,100 accounts in 26 states. Most recently, Empire announced the pickup of 11 former Corner Store c-stores in the Lubbock, Texas, market from CST Brands Inc.
  • Atlas Oil Co. sold all of its BP-branded assets in Chicago and northwest Indiana to Lehigh Gas Partners LP. Lehigh purchased 55 wholesale supply contracts, 11 fee-and-leasehold sites, two commission marketing contracts and other assets for $38.5 million. In the third quarter, Atlas announced the acquisition of the portfolio of Dennis Trigg in the greater Houston area, consisting of 80 fuel customers with a fuel consumption of 50 million gallons per year.
  • Casey’s General Stores Inc. acquired 24 Stop-n-Go locations in North Dakota and Minnesota and said it intends to rebrand the stores as soon as possible. Casey’s also announced that during its current fiscal year, it has built 44 n