Best Oil Closes Sales of C-Store, Fuel Businesses

TravelCenters of America takes 19 Little Stores; NuWay gains 110 wholesale customers

Best Oil Little Stores TravelCenters (CSP Daily News / Convenience Stores / Gas Stations)

CLOQUET, Minn. -- Best Oil Co. has closed the previously announced sale of its 19 Little Stores gas stations and convenience stores in northwestern Minnesota and Superior, Wis., to TravelCenters of America LLC, Matrix Capital Markets Group Inc., which provided merger and acquisition advisory services to Best Oil, said.

With headquarters in Cloquet, Minn., Best Oil directly operated all 19 Little Stores prior to the sale. It owned 18 of the sites fee simple, with one site being a leasehold.

Best Oil also closed the sale of its wholesale fuel supply business and transportation division to the previously undisclosed buyer, NuWay Cooperative, Trimont, Minn.

The company's wholesale fuel supply business consisted of annual sales of more than 27 million gallons serving approximately 110 customers in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The transportation division has eight tractors and eight trailers that deliver fuel to Best Oil's company operated stores and wholesale customers.

R.W. Lindholm, later joined in the business by his son-in-law, Daryl L. McKinney, founded Best Oil Co. in 1939. McKinney managed the company from 1961 to 1999 and opened the first of the Little Stores in 1971. McKinney transitioned the business to his sons John, Michael and Christopher in 1999, who together continued to grow the Little Store brand and the company's wholesale fuel business and transportation division. Throughout the 2000s, the McKinney brothers continued to focus on the Little Store division by razing and rebuilding several locations and upgrading all of the stores.

Matrix's Thomas Kelso, managing director and head of the Downstream Energy & Retail Team, and John Underwood, director, co-managed the transaction.

Matrix Capital Markets Group is an independent, advisory-focused, privately held investment bank based in Richmond, Va.

Matrix's Downstream Energy & Retail Group is a national leader in providing transactional advisory services to companies in the downstream energy and multi-site retail sectors including convenience store chains, petroleum marketers, fuels distributors, retail propane distributors, heating oil distributors, lubes retailers and distributors, terminal operators, fuels transportation companies, hospitality companies and other specialty retail chains.

Westlake, Ohio-based TravelCenters of America is a leading travel center business in 43 states and Canada. With 254 travel centers off interstate highway exits, TA and Petro Stopping Centers offer customers diesel and gasoline fueling services, more than 500 full-service restaurants and QSRs, 24-hour convenience stores, heavy-truck maintenance services, RoadSquad Connect (24/7/365 emergency roadside service), Reserve-It (truck parking reservations) and other services within large, high-traffic facilities. TravelCenters' business also includes 60 standalone gas station and convenience stores operating primarily under its Minit Mart brand name.

Part of CSP's 2015 Convenience Top 101 retailers