Mergers & Acquisitions

Douglass Distributing Sells Off Wholesale Business

Retailer will maintain ownership of its 23 convenience stores
Douglass Distributing truck
Photograph from DouglassDist.com

Long-standing convenience retailer and wholesaler Douglass Distributing Inc. is exiting the upstream end of its business, selling the company and several affiliates to Offen Petroleum LLC. Douglass will retain ownership of its 23 convenience stores.

Based in Sherman, Texas, Douglass is a recognized national leader in the propane, lubricant, and wholesale and commercial fuel businesses, serving customers primarily in Texas and Oklahoma. Douglass currently distributes more than 200 million gallons of fuel annually. Douglass’ propane business has more than 4,600 residential customers. Its wholesale business has more than 150 major customers. And its commercial business has more than 2,800 fuel, lubricant and diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) customers.

Douglass also maintains an extensive fuel carrier business and operates in part through an agreement with Old World Industries to provide product transportation, as well as on-site manufacturing of DEF, antifreeze and washer fluid products.

The deal does not include 23 convenience stores Douglass owns and operates in the north Texas area under the Lone Star Food Stores banner.

“We have built a strong and successful wholesale fuel business over the past 40 years and are proud of our hard working and dedicated team members," said Bill Douglass, chief executive officer of W. Douglass Distributing. "We are pleased that Offen also recognizes the value and contributions of our team members, and, as a result, Offen will be retaining virtually all of the people who have supported our wholesale businesses.

"I have known [Offen CEO] Bill Gallagher for many years and have been impressed by the operation he has built at Offen. I know that Offen’s values align with ours and that our wholesale businesses and people will continue to thrive under their ownership and direction.”

Gallagher returned the respectful feelings, saying, “Bill Douglass is one of the most respected leaders in the fuels distribution industry, and he has created an elite and diversified distribution business. We are honored that Bill has trusted us to carry on his legacy in serving his customers, employing his people, and supporting the Northern Texas and Southern Oklahoma communities to make lives better.

"This acquisition will allow us to establish an operations center in Sherman, Texas, and we will hire the employees of the Douglass wholesale business. This business will serve as our platform to accelerate our growth in the Texas marketplace.”

In 1947, Humble Oil (later known as Exxon) established a railroad bulk plant in Sherman and Gainesville, Texas. In 1981, Bill Douglass purchased the Exxon consignee in Sherman, including the local Exxon Transport Division, Exxon Tank Wagon Division, Exxon Lubricants Division and Tires, Batteries & Accessories Division, and through these acquisitions, Douglass Distributing was born.

Since its formation with three employees, through today with an enterprise employing more than 340, Bill Douglass and his family-run businesses have been recognized as leaders in the convenience store and wholesale fuel industries. Bill Douglass has been consistently recognized and honored for his achievements in the convenience store and fuel distribution industries, including serving as chairman of the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).

NRC Realty & Capital Advisors LLC, Chicago, served as exclusive financial advisor to W. Douglass Distributing Ltd. in the deal.

“I can’t say enough about the tremendous efforts and diligence of Paul Reuter, Denny Ruben, Jake Johnson and the entire NRC team in getting this complicated transaction to the finish line," Douglass said. "There were several challenging aspects to this deal, and the NRC team did a masterful job of navigating all of the issues and getting us to the closing.”

Ruben, executive managing director of NRC Realty & Capital Advisors, stated, “It has been an incredible honor to represent Bill Douglass and his family in the negotiation and sale of their wholesale businesses to Offen Petroleum. We have admired Bill Douglass and his prominence in the convenience store and fuel distribution industries for many years, and we have known Bill Gallagher and his management team at Offen for several years as well, and it was indeed a privilege to participate in a transaction such as this with two industry heavyweights.”

Based in Commerce City, Colorado, Offen Petroleum is a growing distributor of fuels, propane, DEF and lubricants. Offen is a portfolio company of Court Square Capital Partners, a New York-based private equity firm.

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