Mutual's Move

Wholesale distributor Mutual Oil selling assets of 22 gas stations, c-stores

BROCKTON, Mass. -- Two Boston stations are among the 22 gas station and convenience store assets that Mutual Oil Co. Inc. has put up for sale, the company announced yesterday. The offering includes 17 stations in Massachusetts (including two in Boston), two in New Hampshire, one in Connecticut, one in Rhode Island and one in Vermont.

As reported in a Raymond James/CSP Daily News Flash yesterday, all of the assets are located along high-traffic roads within residential or commercial areas. Mutual owns the real estate at 19 of the locations and leases the other three locations; 20 of the stations are currently operated by temporary dealers on a month-to-month basis and the other two stations are temporarily closed.

The stations were formerly branded BP and Lukoil, but have recently switched to selling unbranded fuel. The assets are available for sale on an individual or multiple basis.

Mutual currently supplies fuels to all of the open locations. The assets are being offered for sale without any future brand or supply agreement requirements.

Mutual will also consider financing select buyers that meet their internal credit review standards. If a buyer will require seller financing, then a supply contract with Mutual will be a prerequisite. Mutual is also prepared to deliver any temporarily operated dealer sites, "free-and-clear" of that dealer, should that be preferable to the prospective buyer.

The average lot size of the 19 fee-simple assets is seven-tenths of an acre and the average size convenience store is approximately 1,410 square feet. Some of the assets have additional rental income from other retail frontage.

Three of the stations have repair bays, which allow buyers to generate additional income from auto repairs, or through the leasing of those bays to a mechanic.

In addition to owner-operators, the assets also present excellent opportunities for real-estate investors or fuel distributors seeking to purchase the real estate and/or fuel volume and continue to collect rent from current or future tenants and potentially supply fuel to the locations. The month-to-month lease durations provide flexibility for new owners.

The Brockton, Mass.-based company did not respond by press time to CSP Daily News' request for comment.

It is offering the assets through a structured sale process to be managed exclusively by Matrix Capital Markets Group Inc., Richmond, Va. Offers are due by Sept. 12, 2012. Click here for details.

Mutual Oil was founded as a single-site gas station in 1937. By the 1950s, the company grew to approximately 30 sites and entered the home heating oil business. By 1980, Mutual Oil had become the largest gasoline chain based in southeastern Massachusetts, with retail operations throughout New England.

The company sold its home heating oil business in 1984 and in 1985 began to develop its branded retail and wholesale businesses. Shortly thereafter, CITGO Petroleum made Mutual Oil a distributor, and in 1986, Mutual Oil purchased the Texaco distributorship of Granite State Petroleum. Beginning with these two brands, Mutual rapidly expanded its wholesale operation. Over the next two decades, it added the following brands to its list of distributorships: Texaco, Sunoco, Coastal, Gulf, Shell, Getty, Lukoil, Valero and Mobil.

In March 2003, Mutual Oil exited the retail gasoline business. Today, it is exclusively a wholesale gasoline and diesel distributor serving independently owned stations throughout New England. Including its own brand, Mutual, the company has 10 different brands it offers customers.