Empire & Atlas Oil Combine Retailer Dealer Businesses

DALLAS — Empire Petroleum Partners LLC and Atlas Oil Co. are joining the forces of their retail dealer businesses to create one powerful, national fuel distributor, the companies announced Tuesday. The combined entity will service 1,350 accounts in 29 states and distribute nearly one billion gallons of fuel annually.

The addition of the Atlas retail business will significantly enhance Empire's fuel volumes while strengthening its relationships with branded partners, including Marathon, ConocoPhillips, CITGO and BP. Atlas Oil Chairman and CEO Sam Simon will retain a significant ownership stake in Empire and join its board of directors in an influential role as part of the merger.

"We are pleased to welcome Sam, an industry veteran and successful executive, as our partner," said Empire CEO Hank Heithaus. "Sam has a long history of innovation and growth, and we look forward to capturing his entrepreneurial energy and vision."

Atlas Oil's retail dealer business, which represents less than 24 percent of its total fuel volume, will merge with Empire. Its core commercial and industrial segment will remain in place and be strengthened for growth, according to the announcement.

"We have always strived for innovation and progression as a company and our partnership with Empire creates immediate scale and future opportunities," Simon said. "We believe the combination of our retail fuel volumes will fortify Empire's leadership position in the industry and enable us to better serve our customers, employees and suppliers."

Empire will receive additional equity capital from its financial sponsor American Infrastructure MLP Funds (AIMLP) as part of the combination, as well as other significant shareholders. Additionally, Empire recently expanded its credit facility to $250 million in order to close several strategic acquisitions and support future growth initiatives.

"The Empire partnership was formed in 2011 to bring industry leaders together to create a powerful and lasting fuel distributor," said Bob Hellman, chairman of the board at Empire and CEO and managing director at AIMLP. "The addition of Atlas and Sam Simon to our partnership is an important milestone and we greatly welcome Sam's involvement, guidance and stewardship."

Dallas-based Empire Petroleum Partners is a motor fuels distributor of top brands, including Shell, Chevron, Valero, Sunoco, BP, Exxon, CITGO, Mobil, Marathon, Texaco, Gulf and ConocoPhillips, while Taylor, Mich.-based Atlas Oil is a national fuel supply, logistics and services company that delivers comprehensive solutions to customers throughout the distribution lifecycle.

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