Empire Petroleum Grows Footprint in Three States
ROME, Ga. — Empire Petroleum Partners LLC has closed on its purchase of the consignment and wholesale assets of Superior Transport Inc.
Superior Transport, which does business as STi Fuels, is a petroleum marketer serving the three-state market of northern Alabama, northwestern Georgia, and southern Tennessee. It distributes more than 75 million gallons of motor fuels annually through more than 120 consignment and dealer supply accounts.
At closing, STi retailed fuels through 47 consignment accounts and supplied wholesale fuels to 77 customers. The majority of the fuels marketed by the company were through their proprietary Hi-Tech and Smile brands.
STi also supplied unbranded fuels to customers using their own flags. It supplied six Shell sites and 11 BP sites, and was a jobber for both companies. In addition, STi operated a trucking division that hauled fuel to its consignment and wholesale sites in Georgia and Tennessee.
In addition to Empire's acquisition, Usher Transport Inc. acquired the transportation division assets of STi Fuels, according to Matrix Capital Markets Group Inc.
STi will continue to operate its commercial fuels business, Enterprise Oil Co.
Rome-based STi was initially the wholesale and transportation division of D&D Oil Co. Inc., operator of Cowboys Food Mart. In 2002, STi was incorporated into a new entity and operated as a sister company to D&D Oil until the sale of the Cowboys Food Mart chain to the former The Pantry Inc. in 2004.
After that sale, STi continued to transport fuels for The Pantry and, over the next four years, built a large common carrier business with 78 transports hauling fuels in four states, according to Matrix.
In 2008, STi sold its common carrier business to the Kenan Advantage Group Inc. in a move to focus exclusively on building its retail and wholesale motor fuels operations.
Richmond, Va.-based Matrix provided merger and acquisition advisory services to STi, which included valuation advisory, marketing the business through a confidential, structured sale process, and negotiation of the transaction. The transaction was managed by Vance Saunders, director, and Tom Kelso, managing director and principal. Kyle Profilet, analyst, also advised on the transaction.
"Selling a company you have built from the ground up is a tough decision. You are concerned that your employees and customers will continue to be taken care of, and Matrix helped us achieve this goal," said Don Newton, president and co-owner. "During the valuation process and through the entire sales process, the individuals that represent Matrix were professional in every manner. Our experience with Matrix was exceptional."
Scott Smith of McRae, Smith, Peek, Harman and Monroe LLP served as legal counsel for STi.
Based in Dallas, Empire Petroleum is a leading motor fuels distributor of top brands including Shell, Sunoco, BP, Chevron, Texaco, Valero, Gulf, Marathon, ExxonMobil, Phillips 66, Crown, and 76. Additionally, Empire has developed its own brand and image named Empire's Fast Fuels.