Retailer/Wholesaler Goes Under

Universal Marketing reports $12 million in debt in Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing

Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News

WILMINGTON, Del. -- With more than $12 million owed to its 20 largest creditors, branded supplier, wholesaler and retailer Universal Marketing Inc., Wilmington, Del., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Pennsylvania this past week.

The company supplies gasoline, diesel and other fuel products to 10 states, including Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Florida. It also owns and operates chain of convenience stores and provides franchising services to retailers, according to the company's website, though no details are offered.

As reported in a CSP Daily News Flash yesterday, bankruptcy court documents list oil companies CITGO Petroleum Corp., Gulf Merc and ConocoPhillips Co. as the three largest creditors, collectively owed more than $9.6 million, while other creditors include the Pennsylvania Bureau of Motor Fuel Taxes (owed $1.1 million), Sunoco Inc. ($214,108) and Motiva Enterprises LLC ($213,927).

The voluntary petition of bankruptcy was filed July 23 in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The petition is signed by Gurmeet Batra, president of the company. Under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a corporation usually proposes a plan of reorganization to keep its business alive and pay creditors over time.

Calls to the company's headquarters and attorney were not returned by press time, but a competing distributor who requested anonymity told CSP Daily News word of the bankruptcy filing was "making waves" up and down the East Coast, and he was hopeful the bankruptcy might open some opportunities for his company.

The judge in the case has given Universal Marketing until August 7 to file additional needed paperwork for the case to proceed.

Steve Holtz, CSP/Winsight By Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News
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