Forced Into Bankruptcy

Ohio court awaits response from Laurel Valley Oil

UHRICHSVILLE, Ohio -- Officials at retailer/distributor Laurel Valley Oil Co., Uhrichsville, Ohio, have until Wednesday, August 17, to respond to an involuntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition filed by two jobbers and a supplier.

On July 27, as reported in a CSP Daily News Flash, the three creditors filed the petition in Northern Ohio Bankruptcy Court, claiming Laurel Valley Oil owes them more than $11.5 million for goods sold or missed fuel deliveries. Laurel Valley Oil had no comment on the issue Friday.

According to the filing, [image-nocss] Laurel Valley Oil owes Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC about $6.4 million for goods sold. A Marathon Ashland spokesperson said the Findlay, Ohio-based company has done business with Laurel Valley Oil since the 1970s. Additionally, jobber Julian W. Perkins Inc., Elyria, Ohio, claims to be owed in excess of $3.8 million for prepaid fuel not delivered [and] $100,000 in past-due invoices for lubricant sales. Also, jobber Truck World Inc., Hubbard, Ohio, says it is owed more than $1.1 million for fuel paid for but not delivered.

Laurel Valley Oil Co. is a private company selling wholesale petroleum products and with its own retail base. In 2003, the company had estimated sales of $9.0 million, according to Thomson Gale's Goliath website.

Laurel Valley Oil recently abruptly closed two of its 76 gasoline stations, one in Uhrichsville and the other in Freeport, according to a report in the New Philadelphia Times Reporter.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy would allow the company to reorganize while paying off its creditors. If Laurel Valley Oil does not respond to the summons by August 17, the court could declare the company bankrupt and seize its assets.