SPATCO Buys Petro Supply

Mid-Atlantic acquisition is 2nd of year for Kian Capital-backed energy solutions company
Photograph courtesy of SPATCO

SPATCO Energy Solutions, a provider of infrastructure, pumps, tank accessories and servicing of fueling equipment for convenience, petroleum and electric-vehicle charging companies, is expanding geographically to the Mid-Atlantic region with the acquisition of Petro Supply, a distributor of petroleum equipment in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Delaware and New Jersey.

SPATCO, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been growing through acquisitions and SPATCO President and Chief Executive John Force said the company will have more to announce this year. The company looks for companies that can expand its capacity, capabilities and geographic reach to better serve its customers and provide career opportunities to its employees, he said.

“We are fortunate to have a pipeline of very attractive opportunities. We feel that founder-owned companies within our industry are looking to align with a large, forward-thinking partner. For many, SPATCO fits that bill. We would expect to complete at least a couple more acquisitions this year,” Force said.

Petro Supply, based in Elkridge, Maryland, sells and distributes petroleum equipment used for maintaining gas stations, convenience stores, construction and petroleum and chemical handling facilities, SPATCO said.

The acquisition is SPATCO’s second of 2023. In January, it announced it was expanding its capabilities and reach in the Gulf Coast area with the acquisition of McKinney Petroleum Equipment in Alabama. It did not disclose the terms of the deals.

SPATCO said it will maintain its commitment to employees and customer service as it grows through acquisition. “The strength of their respective teams is undeniable and will provide a huge leap forward in our strategy to be the top integrated platform in the country for the petroleum convenience store and EV markets,” Force said.

Family-Owned Petro

Petro Supply is a family-owned company in 1971 by Galen Heaps, president and chief executive. With the acquisition, Heaps’ son Brandon Heaps, who has served as Petro Supply’s vice president and chief operating officer, will lead SPATCO’s Mid-Atlantic region.

“My father built Petro Supply on the foundation of hard work and two sayings–‘Do what is right’ and ‘Treat everyone as you want to be treated’,” Brandon Heaps said. Heaps said he is “excited to take Petro Supply to the next level with a partner who shares the same values and commitment to our people. As our industry evolves, we are confident in SPATCO’s strategy and vision to continuously innovate to meet our customers’ needs.”

The Petro Supply and McKinney Petroleum acquisitions are expected to help SPATCO continue on its path of innovation and growth.

Gaining Employees

With the McKinney acquisition, SPATCO gained 25 offices across 12 Southeastern states with over 700 employees, including over 400 technicians. McKinney Petroleum installs and services above ground and underground storage tanks and fuel management solutions in the Mobile, Alabama and Gulf Coast area. Its ChargePoint EV charging stations and apps are positioned for the future.

"I'm excited to be part of such a professional organization and look forward to leveraging SPATCO's resources, systems and expert training programs to build on our capabilities here in the Gulf Coast and beyond," Kevin McKinney, president of McKinney Petroleum, said in January. "As a third-generation family-owned business, it was important to align with a company with the same values for our long-time employees and we found that with SPATCO." He has joined SPATCO’s leadership team and runs Gulf Coast operations.

“We are proud of the differentiated platform we’ve developed and that highly respected business owners like Galen, Brandon and Kevin are entrusting SPATCO as a partner to continue their legacies,” Force said.

In September 2020, Kian Capital Partners completed a recapitalization of SPATCO paving the way for acquisitions. SPATCO purchased the Southern Co. of North Little Rock in December 2020 and Adams Tank and Lift in July 2021 and has propelled SPATCO’s earnings growth, according to Kian Capital’s website. RF Investment Partners and Apogem Capital also are investors in SPATCO.

Previously, in June 2018, SPATCO also acquired Performance Oil Equipment. In April 2017, it acquired Petrotech, and in July 2016, it acquired Mid South Pump Sales.

SPATCO, called Southern Pump and Tank Co. when it started over 88 years ago, is a turnkey developer of retail and commercial facilities, including design and build capabilities, and a provider of petroleum equipment. It provides equipment for petroleum, diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) and EV charging, and environmental compliance and remediation services.

Petro Supply represents multiple manufacturers and services convenience stores and gas stations by repairing pumps, upgrading tanks, equipping stores and constructing new fuel systems.

McKinney, founded in 1933 by Wallace McKinney Jr., is a leading petroleum and industrial equipment supplier to convenience stores. It represents over 50 manufacturers and provides equipment sales, installation and service in South Alabama, the Florida panhandle and Southeast Mississippi.

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