Mergers & Acquisitions

Jay Petroleum Purchases 22 Party Mart C-Stores

Pak-A-Sak owner acquires assets of Ottawa Oil
Photograph courtesy of Jay Petroleum

PORTLAND, Ind. — Jay Petroleum Inc., which owns and operates 35 Pak-A-Sak convenience stores in northern Indiana and northwest Ohio, has purchased most of the assets of Ottawa Oil Co. Inc., Ottawa, Ohio. The purchase includes fuel transportation, dealer sites, consignment sites and 22 Party Mart convenience stores.

The companies did not disclose the terms of the transaction.

The acquisition has been in the works since January, but due to COVID-19, the process has taken much longer than expected, according to Ron Freeman, who is retiring at the end of December following 23 years as Jay Petroleum’s president.

Incoming Jay Petroleum President Kevin Huffman highlighted the strategic alignment between the two companies. “The acquisition of Ottawa Oil Co. is a milestone in our 61-year history, and expands our retail footprint to 57 convenience stores throughout northern Indiana and Ohio,” he said.

Ottawa Oil was founded in 1959 with two gas stations and two bulk routes that delivered fuel to homes and farms. They began operating convenience stores in 1982 under the Party Mart brand, which includes foodservice operations such as Subway, Hunt Brothers Pizza and proprietary deli sandwiches.

“We are profoundly grateful to our employees and the communities we have had the pleasure to serve,” said Janel Kruse, general manager of Ottawa Oil. “Jay Petroleum’s track-record for serving communities and history as an employee-owned company were very important factors in our selection of them.”

Jay Petroleum was also founded in 1959 by James Peterson. Throughout its 61-year history, it has followed the traditional petroleum jobber model of fuel transportation, bulk lubricants, automotive supplies and dealer operations; however, for the past more than 30 years, the company’s focus has been on the growth of its convenience store presence through Pak-A-Sak. The 35-store chain has a foodservice emphasis through brands such as Subway, Taco Bell and Papa John’s Pizza. Jay Petroleum, which is an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), will now have a combined team of more than 725 employees.

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