Majors Management Sells Off Commercial Fuels Business in W. Va.

Bruceton Farm Service Inc., part of BFS Cos., now owns the assets.

WHEELING, W.Va. Bruceton Farm Service Inc. acquired the former Tri-State Petroleum commercial fuels business from affiliates of Majors Management LLC.

The transaction includes two bulk plant facilities in Wheeling and New Martinsville, W.Va., and their respective commercial fuels distribution businesses.

Majors acquired the business as part of its Tri-State Petroleum acquisition, which it completed in December. This divestiture completes the strategic rationalization of that business.

Bruceton Farm Service is part of BFS Cos. that includes BFS Foods convenience stores and Southern States fuels distribution, serving markets in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. 

"This acquisition fit neatly into our current operating area, allowing us to more efficiently serve current customers, while strategically expanding our overall service area," said Garet Bishop, Bruceton Farm Service chief financial officer. "We look forward to integrating the customer base into our system and tangibly demonstrating the BFS difference into the future."

Majors and its affiliates serve markets in 16 states from Florida to Pennsylvania and the Carolinas to Texas in the retail petroleum industry.

"Whether it be c-stores or dealer supply, our primary business focus is on the retail side of the deal. When making an acquisition, optimally divesting non-core components such as commercial fuels and lubricants is part of our established business rationalization process and allows us to stay focused on our strategy to grow our business through acquisition. This business fell into that category," said Ben Smith, president of Majors. "We found the BFS team to be extremely professional throughout the process, allowing us to close the deal in a very seamless and timely fashion."

PetroActive Real Estate Services LLC provided exclusive advisory services to Majors for this transaction. 

"We have been on the other side of several transactions over the past years and have always found the Majors team to be consummate professionals and a first-class asset to our industry.  We were honored when they asked us to help them coordinate this divestiture," said Mark Radosevich, president of PetroActive Services. "We are equally happy that we were able to match BFS with this business opportunity and help advance their business." 

Convenience Store News initially reported on the transaction in December. Tri-State was founded in 1974 by Edward J. Coyne and Elizabeth J. Coyne as an Atlantic Richfield distributor of tires, batteries, and automotive accessories. In 1976, the company began barging fuel oil through its Wheeling terminal and bulk plant facility that served chemical, coal and other industrial customers throughout the upper Ohio Valley region. 

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the company implemented a strategic plan to expand into retail fuel marketing, by leveraging supply contracts with BP, Exxon, Citgo and Sunoco, and acquiring two portfolios from BP in the mid-1990s, including company-operated c-stores and wholesale dealer accounts. 

Tri-State continued growing with its 2002 acquisition of 18 c-store/gas stations from ExxonMobil Corp. In 2012, Tri-State entered into a new branded supply agreement with Marathon Petroleum Corp., rebranding the majority of its petroleum marketing locations, and subsequently became one of the leading Marathon distributors and convenience retailers in its trade area.

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