Lee Oil Acquires 17 Locations from Marsh Petroleum

Tennessee company getting out of retail to focus on propane business

Greg Lindenberg, Editor, CSP

MIDDLEBORO, Ky. & GREENEVILLE, Tenn. -- Marsh Petroleum subsidiary Interstate Petroleum has sold all 17 of its Kwik Shop and Kwik Fuel convenience stores in Tennessee to Lee Oil Co. Inc. this month. Lee Oil now operates 42 c-stores, representing 46 million gallons a year.

"We operate in southeastern Kentucky, eastern Tennessee and southwestern Virginia," Terry Lee, CEO of Heartland Inc. and president and CEO of subsidiary Lee Oil, told CSP Daily News. "These locations really complemented our already existing territories. They didn't have any overlapping locations that would compete with each other."

He added, "The move gives us a little bit better presence. We now have a much better presence in Knoxville [Tenn.]--we only had one existing store before. The 17 locations complimented our footprint."

He said that several locations were already branded Exxon, and Lee Oil already has a contract with Exxon; others were branded as Phillips, so Lee Oil has signed a contract with Phillips, so the Middleboro, Ky.-based company now represents the BP, Marathon, Exxon and Phillips brands.

Lee said that the company does not have any specific growth goal: "It's about what fits and what makes good business sense. As far as being on a growth plan, that never comes into our mind. We just try to run a good business."

Greeneville, Tenn.-based Marsh Petroleum's subsidiary Interstate Petroleum sold all of its c-stores to Lee Oil so it can focus solely on its propane business.

Neither Marsh Petroleum nor Interstate Petroleum responded by press time to a CSP Daily News request for comment on the deal.

Heartland, incorporated in 1999, is a diversified company that manages its business as three operational segments: steel warehousing, fabrication and petroleum retail and wholesale operations.

Lee Oil is primarily focused on the wholesale and retail distribution of petroleum products including those sold to the motoring public through its retail locations. Lee Oil's wholly owned subsidiaries include Lee Enterprises Inc. and Lee's Food Marts LLC. Its operations are centered in the southeastern portion of Kentucky, the northeastern portion of Tennessee and the southwestern portion of Virginia.

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