UPDATE: Textron Energy Acquires 16 Mr. Zip Stores

Owners aging, ready to exit business, executive says

Greg Lindenberg, Editor, CSP

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- Ken Lewis, manager of the Mr. Zip convenience stores that have been acquired by Fort Worth, Texas-based Textron Energy, a subsidiary of Classic Star Group LP, told CSP Daily News that the Zuber family, which owns Mr. Zip Inc. of Tennessee, is exiting the industry. "The reason for the sale was just simply the family is aging and it became time to sell," he said.

"In the '80s the family had [more than] 50 stores in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex; in the mid- '90s, these stores were sold to Classic Star Group. The Zuber family had a great history with this group and felt it would be a good fit today," he said. "Textron was interested in both the retail and the wholesale operations; they would not have been interested unless both were made part of the agreement."

Textron has acquired 16 Mr. Zip stores and a wholesale fuels business along the I-75 corridor between Knoxville and Chattanooga, Tenn. The company's East Tennessee subsidiary will be based in Cleveland, Tenn., in the existing offices of Mr. Zip.

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

Lewis is staying in the industry. "I've been retained by Textron as general manager and will continue to oversee the retail operations as well as work in the wholesale side," he said. "I've been with Mr. Zip for the past 32 years as treasurer, controller and general manager … [and] Textron has given me an opportunity to continue with them and help grow their new venture."

Classic Star Group is a family-operated, multi-branded fuel wholesaler with operations in five southwestern states. With this acquisition, the company now serves more than 400 retail customers.