Mergers & Acquisitions

EG Group to Acquire Certified Oil Business

U.K. convenience-store, fuel retailer continues U.S. expansion
EG Group Certified Oil logos

BLACKBURN, U.K. — EG Group has signed a definitive agreement to acquire 69 Certified Oil convenience stores and gas stations operating in Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio.

  • EG Group is No. 8 in the Top 40 update to CSP's 2018 Top 202 ranking of c-store chains by number of company-owned retail outlets.

“The connection the store teams have with the customers in the community and the locations of the stores are highly complementary to EG Group’s existing U.S. operation. We are looking forward to welcoming the Certified family to the team and supporting them in continuing their customer-focused service established 80 years ago,” said Jay Erickson, president of EG America.

Certified Oil was founded in 1939 by Carlyle Baker. In 1998, his son-in-law, Peter Lacaillade, stepped up to lead the Certified Oil team following the sudden passing of Baker. Today, the company is run by grandson Nick Lacaillade, third-generation owner of Certified Oil. Certified Oil operates or supplies more than 140 locations in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. It maintains its own proprietary “Certified” fuel brand as well as branding and distributing fuels for Marathon.

“Our focus has been the customer and the communities we serve; our people working in the stores are like family,” said Nick Lacaillade.

In April 2018, Blackburn, U.K.-based EG Group acquired a 762-site convenience-store business in the United States from The Kroger Co., Cincinnati, operating under the Turkey Hill, Loaf ‘N Jug, Kwik Shop, Tom Thumb and Quik Stop banners (Kroger was No. 10 in CSP's2018 Top 202 ranking). As part of the Kroger deal, EG Group established their North American headquarters in Cincinnati.

In December 2018, EG Group expanded to 988 stores with the acquisition of the Minit Mart portfolio from Travel Centers of America (No. 28 in the Top 40 update to CSP's2018 Top 202 ranking) and the opening of a new Turkey Hill location in Pennsylvania.

In April 2019, EG Group announced a definitive agreement to acquire 54 Fastrac Markets (No. 130 in CSP's2018 Top 202 ranking) stores in New York, in addition to the purchase of Martin’s Trailside store in Pennsylvania.

The Certified Oil portfolio will bring the EG Group count up to 1,112 c-stores operating in 25 states.

“This acquisition is in line with our strategy to expand in large growing markets like the United States. The acquisition of Certified Oil is an exciting value creation opportunity for the EG Group and underpins another significant step in our North American adventure," said Mohsin Issa, founder and co-CEO of EG Group. “Given the recent market interest in similar assets in the U.S., the sector presents significant growth potential. Being a leading market operator, EG Group is well-positioned to take advantage of such opportunities. The 69-site network secured will also enable EG Group to extend its reach into new state geographies. We look forward to investing in the assets and improving the existing consumer offer.”

Zuber Issa, founder and co-CEO of EG Group, said, “This acquisition is an important step in building out our U.S. roadmap and will enable us to build a stronger market presence. EG Group aims to develop retail destinations that satisfy multiple customer missions. The acquisition more importantly also resoundingly confirms our long-term commitment to the U.S. market.”

Fifth Third Securities served as exclusive financial adviser to Certified Oil in the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.

Founded in 2001 by the Issa family, EG Group is a gasoline and c-store operator that has established partnerships with global brands such as Esso, BP, Shell, Carrefour, Louise Delhaize, SPAR, Starbucks, Burger King, KFC, Greggs and Subway. EG Group employs more than 30,000 people working in approximately 5,200 sites in the United Kingdom, Europe, the United States and Australia.

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