Atlas Oil Acquires Five R & J Inc. Stations

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. -- Atlas Oil Co., a Taylor, Mich.-based operator of 40 convenience stores and fuel supplier to more than 300 locations across 10 states, acquired five Battle Creek, Mich., area convenience stores earlier this week from R & J Inc. and folded the company into its own retail segment, Crain's Detroit Business reported.

The purchase assumes the ownership stake of R & J partners Richard Folk and John Reed, while all remaining employees at the five CITGO-branded locations were merged into Atlas' operations, the report stated. Terms of the deal was not disclosed.

"We previously had three stations on the western side of Michigan, and this expands our presence in a market where we have already wanted to grow," Michael Evans, executive vice president for business development at Atlas, told Crain's. "We had one of our stations that was fairly close to theirs. The others are elsewhere in the state and not in competition."

As part of the deal, all five stations will rebrand to BP-branded stations within 30 days, according to the report. The five locations earned $20 million in revenue in 2007.

Altas, which also is a franchisor to the Fast Track brand of convenience stores in the Midwest, recently converted two additional c-stores in Dexter and Chelsea, Mich., to BP, as part of its branding agreements with the energy company.
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