EZ Energy in $24.5 Million Sale-Leaseback Deal

U.S. subsidiary will lease back 18 gas stations for $2.27 million a year

RAMAT GAN, Israel -- EZ Energy Ltd. has sold 18 gas stations in the United States for $24.5 million in a sale and leaseback deal, reported Israeli newspaper Globes. The undisclosed buyer will lease back the properties to EZ Energy USA Inc. for 15 years, with an option to extend for a further 15 to 30 years, for $2.27 million a year.

EZ Energy USA will repay $12 million out of the sale proceeds to the banks that lent it the original loan to buy the properties, said the report. EZ Energy will report a pretax gain of $8.5 million on the sale, net of transaction expenses. The company will have to buy land at two stations for an estimated $1.15 million, before the sale to the buyer.

EZ Energy said that the leaseback of the stations reflects an initial return on investment of 9.25% a year. Rent will rise by 2% a year.

Controlled by chairman Dr. Eli Zehavi, EZ Energy owns more than 100 stations in the United States.

EZ Energy, a publicly traded holding company with headquarters in Ramat Gan, Israel, currently supplies petroleum products to 92 retail locations, including 68 company-operated convenience stores, 17 of which are ampm franchise stores, and 24 contract dealer locations. EZ Energy is poised to grow its concept throughout the Midwest and southeastern United States, it said.

Based in Seven Hills, Ohio, EZ Energy USA owns and operates Easy Trip stores currently located throughout northern Ohio (Cleveland area) and western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh area).

Easytrip Stores are found in the Cleveland, central Ohio and Pittsburgh areas. Easy Trip stores offer BP or Marathon-branded gasoline.

(See Related Content below for previous CSP Daily News coverage of EZ Energy.)