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Mergers & Acquisitions

Coen Oil Looking to Double C-Store Count

Sprague Resources acquires Coen Energy, but Ruff Creek Markets not part of deal

WASHINGTON, Pa. -- Fuel supplier and convenience-store retailer Coen Oil Co. is looking to nearly double the number of its retail outlets in the next five years, the company told The Pittsburgh Business Times.

The Washington, Pa.-based company has just completed the sale of its Coen Energy and Coen Transport divisions, including four bulk plants and real estate, to Sprague Resources LP. The rest of Coen Oil, which includes Coen Markets, its c-store division, Coen Tire, its tire division, were not part of the deal.

Coen Oil was founded in 1923. Coen Markets owns about 40 c-stores in Southwestern Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio and Northern West Virginia. The company rebranded its Coen Markets and Kwik King c-stores to Ruff Creek Markets in 2015.

Coen Energy is one of the largest fuel suppliers to homes, businesses and the energy industry in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, according to the company, while Coen Transport ships fuel.

“Our opportunity, having monetized Coen Energy and solidified its legacy, is to now focus on the Coen Markets business and strive to make [its being best-in-class] a reality,” Chairman Charles McIlvaine told the newspaper.

He said the chain will add “distinctive” fresh foods, including Ruff Creek’s specialty, its original crispy chicken and hand-cut potato wedges known as “jojos.” They will also enhance customer service and the stores’ retail environment.

“Our view is that we want to be in 50-plus [locations] within five years, half of them our full foodservice markets,” McIlvaine told the paper.

Portsmouth, N.H.-based Sprague Resources is engaged in the purchase, storage, distribution and sale of refined petroleum products and natural gas. The company also provides storage and handling services for a broad range of materials.

The deal expands Sprague’s footprint in the region, while expanding its business model to provide energy products and complimentary field services to more than 7,000 customers.

“Coen Energy expands both our geographic footprint and business model to include additional commercial fueling activities,” said David Glendon, president and CEO of Sprague. “Coen’s strong reputation for customer service and safe operations has generated strong customer loyalty and provides an outstanding platform for continued growth in the region.”

Financial terms of the transaction include a $33.75 million base purchase price, the value of Coen Energy’s petroleum products and a possible additional $12 million based on performance, according to Sprague’s filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange (SEC).

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