Empire Strikes 'Bank'

Mid-Atlantic distributor completes $30.5 million equity offering from pair of investors

GAITHERSBURG, Md. -- Empire Petroleum Partners LLC, a distributor of motor fuels, has completed a $30.49 million equity offering, raising the amount from a pair of unnamed investors, according to a report by Citybizlist Baltimore.

Headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., Empire Petroleum is a motor fuels distributor of brands including Sunoco, BP, Chevron, Texaco, Valero, Gulf and Getty/Lukoil. The company distributes motor fuel product to gas stations in 12 states in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Empire Petroleum started in 1998 as a fuel distributor for Getty in the Washington, [image-nocss] D.C., area, adding the Sunoco and BP brands in 2000 and the Marathon, Chevron, Texaco, Valero and Gulf brands in 2010.

Last December, Empire bought all the fuel supply contracts of Mountain Express Oil, a multi-state jobber headquartered in Woodstock, Ga. With the deal, Empire would be able to market fuel under Chevron, Texaco, Marathon, Valero and Gulf brands. It also has supply relationships with Sunoco and BP.

Executives and directors named in a recent regulatory filing disclosing the capital raise include Eli Kimel, president and CEO; Barclay Booth, chairman; Jim Brummit, CFO; Travis Booth, vice president and general counsel; Robert Hellman Jr., director, from Foster City, Calif.-based American Infrastructure MLP Funds; Ryan Barnes, director, from American Infrastructure MLP Funds; and Roland Ho, director, from American Infrastructure MLP Funds.

Most recently, Kimel served as the president of JFF Enterprises Inc., a holding company investing and operating retail-based businesses and also some franchises. In 2001, he joined Empire Petroleum as an investor and a consultant on retail and real estate ventures, and in 2007 became the president and CEO of the company, the report said.

Booth started his career in the gasoline industry in the late 1980s operating numerous dealer locations for Mobil. In the early 1990s, he started Empire Petroleum and has grown Empire's fuel distribution business from nothing to more than 80,000,000 gallons of fuel on an annual basis, said the report.