APPLETON, Wis., and DENTON, Texas — U.S. Venture Inc., doing business as U.S. Oil, has purchased Martin Eagle Oil Co.’s municipal and commercial fuels businesses and transportation affiliate, Southwest Transport Co.
Based in Appleton, Wis., U.S. Venture is a privately held company that distributes and markets energy, automotive and lubricant products in North America. Founded more than 65 years ago, its business divisions include U.S. Oil, U.S. AutoForce, U.S. Lubricants, U.S. Gain, Breakthrough and IGEN. After 40 years as a direct operator of convenience stores, U.S. Venture in late 2014 sold its 10 company-operated Express Convenience Centers convenience stores and transitioned its 24 franchised locations to a licensing model.
Martin Eagle Oil is a petroleum marketer and fuels distributor based in Denton, Texas, operating primarily in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and north central Texas. It markets or supplies fuels to retail outlets, municipal, government and commercial accounts. Southwest Transport Co. is a Martin Eagle affiliate that transports and distributes fuels to customers of Martin Eagle, as well as other third-party customers.
It is a second-generation family business founded in 1963 by Cecil “Zeke” Martin, a former college and professional football player, with a single Shamrock-branded gas station in Denton. The business has grown to include the municipal and commercial fuels businesses, a retail business consisting of 19 company-owned retail sites, more than 45 supplied sites and Southwest Transport Co.
Independent investment bank Matrix Capital Markets Group Inc., Richmond, Va., provided merger-and-acquisition advisory services to Martin Eagle, which included valuation advisory, marketing the business through a confidential, structured sale process and negotiation of the sale.
“It was not an easy decision for us to sell a part of Martin Eagle Oil that our family has built and run for over 60 years,” said Steve Martin, president of operations. “We have had great relationships with our municipal and commercial customers over the years, and the Southwest Transport team has efficiently served and met all our customer delivery requirements. U.S. Venture will be a good fit for this business given their terminal located in Fort Worth and their overall investments in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Gary and I believe that U.S. Venture, also a family-owned company, will be a great place for our employees to continue their careers.”