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Kiel Bros. Accepting Bids for Entire Business

MARION, Ind. -- Columbus, Ind.-based Kiel Bros. Oil Co., owner of the Tobacco Road chain, is accepting bids for its entire business through an open auction that continues through Sept. 20, reported the Grant County, Ind.-based Chronicle Tribune.

Kiel Bros. is running advertisements about the auction, which is being conducted in conjunction with a licensed broker, Fortis Group LLC. "Offers are being accepted for entire ongoing business or individual pieces," the ads state.

Kiel Bros. is looking to rid itself of 167 operation stories, 54 closed stores or vacant properties and its headquarters facility. It has operations in Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois, mostly under the Tobacco Road name and sells petroleum under the name of BP, Marathon and Tobacco Road brands.

The company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June after a proposed sale of the company's properties failed when the buyer could not secure financing, has closed 11 stores and plans to close 30 more as it looks for a buyer.

In March, Kiel Bros. announced it was going to sell most of its stores and wholesale operations to Bulk Petroleum Corp., based in Mequon, Wis. But the company later announced the sale could not be completed because Bulk's financing was not in place.

Kiel Bros. has been seeking a $23.8-million line of credit to pay for employee salaries and benefits, ongoing operations and other capital needs.

A company involved in Kiel's search for a buyer, Arizona-based Marketplace Advisors, estimated Kiel's assets at nearly $70 million. According to court documents, Kiel has more than 1,000 creditors and estimated debts of up to $50 million.
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