Mergers & Acquisitions

Dunne Manning Picks Up Hy-Miler C-Store Chain

Former Lehigh Gas Corp. acquires District Petroleum

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- In a deal that represents the exit from the petroleum and convenience-store industry for one Ohio company, Dunne Manning Inc. has closed on the purchase of District Petroleum Inc.

Hi-Miler convenience store

As reported in a McLane/CSP Daily News Flash, Huron, Ohio-based District Petroleum owns and operates 22 Hy-Miler convenience stores and distributes and transports motor fuels to branded dealers and marinas throughout Ohio.

“This was a tough process; bittersweet,” Scott Stipp, president of District Petroleum, said of the company’s sale and industry exit.

Richmond, Va.-based Matrix Capital Markets Group Inc. provided merger and acquisition advisory services to the company.

“Mike [Stipp] and Scott Stipp, along with their chief financial officer, Timothy Donnelly, and vice president of retail Gary Gockstetter, have built a very strong company over the decades,” said Spencer Cavalier, managing director for Matrix Capital.

The deal was “a complex transaction that resulted in a highly successful exit from the industry and the monetization of significant family capital,” he said.

A group of industrialists in Sandusky, Ohio, who needed fuel and lubricants for their factories, boats and airplanes founded the company in 1951. It contracted with Shell Oil Co. for all of its petroleum needs. In the early years, it operated as a small jobbership, distributing gasoline to a few dealer-operated locations, as well as selling fuel oil to customers for home heating and lubricants to industrial accounts.

With gasoline marketing beginning to change with the advent of self-serve gasoline and competitive street pricing, the Hy-Miler brand was born in 1976. Hy-Miler then became the name of the convenience-store chain as the company added new stores.

In 2002 District Petroleum partnered with BP, and now the company offers Shell, BP and its own Hy-Miler fuel brands.

Dunne Manning, formerly Lehigh Gas Corp., is based in Allentown, Pa. It operates 200 sites formerly operated by Lehigh Gas-Ohio LLC. This group of sites includes Express Lane, Uni-Mart, Joe’s Kwik Marts, Rocky Top Markets, Zoomerz, Top Star and Choice Tobacco Outlets.

Lehigh Gas Partners LP became CrossAmerica LP after CST Brands Inc., San Antonio, acquired its general partner in 2014.

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