Ports Selling Retail Ops

Auction to include gas/c-stores, tobacco outlets, vacant site

WOOSTER, Ohio -- Ports Petroleum Co., a petroleum marketing and distribution and convenience store company headquartered in Wooster, Ohio, is offering to sell its retail operation through an auction to be managed by Matrix Capital Markets Group Inc.

The company's retail chain, which trades as Fuel Mart, is comprised of 62 fueling centers and c-stores serving professional drivers, interstate motorists and local consumers. It will also sell its three discount cigarette and specialty tobacco product outlets, which trade as Tobacco Town and a vacant retail [image-nocss] site.

Some 51 of the retail units plus the vacant retail site are fee simple (include the real estate) and all of the retail units are unbranded.

The retail units are geographically dispersed across 12 states, with a prevailing presence in the Midwest: Ohio (41), Nebraska (4), Iowa (3), Georgia (3), Mississippi (3), Tennessee (3), Arkansas (2), Indiana (2), Illinois (1), S. Dakota (1), Kentucky (1) and Missouri (1).

These units cater to over-the-road commercial drivers as well as traditional motorists, Richmond, Va.-based Matrix said. The average annual motor fuels volume is approximately 2.2 million gallons per unit, while the average annual merchandise sales is approximately $650,000 per unit. Of the total volume of retail motor fuels sold annually, about 52% is gasoline versus 48% diesel fuel. These stores present an excellent business opportunity for both individual buyers and strategic buyers.

This sales process is governed by formal bid procedures, a copy of which will be provided to registered participants. Bids can be submitted on individual stores and for all of the stores. Pre-emptive bids will be considered. All bids must be submitted on or before 5:00 p.m. ET, Aug. 11, 2005. Bidders submitting qualified bids, as defined in the bid procedures, will be invited to the live auction to be held in Cleveland, Ohio, on Aug. 24, 2005. Only qualified bidders may attend the auction.

To receive a bid package and for more information on the stores and the bidding and auction process, click here.