WATERBURY, Conn. — Mercury Fuel Service Inc. has exited the convenience-store industry with the sale of its remaining sites to affiliates of CCO LLC (dba Sam’s Food Stores). As previously reported in CSP Daily News, EG Group acquired eight stores earlier this year. CCO LLC has acquired 12 stores and the company’s fuels wholesale business.
The stores are all located in Connecticut and sell Mercury’s proprietary branded fuel, Price Cutter, as well as Sunoco, Mobil, Gulf and CITGO-branded fuel. The wholesale business serves dealer accounts in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York. As part of the transactions, the company also retained the real estate and entered into long-term leases with the buyers on a total of nine stores.
Waterbury, Conn.-based Mercury Fuel Service was founded in 1947 by two brothers, Michael Devino and Thomas “Babe” Devino. Originally established as a small retail home heating oil business, the company initially operated out of a modest three-bay garage and owned a vehicle fleet consisting of just one 500-gallon delivery truck. Over the years, the company expanded into motor fuel distribution and operating convenience stores and gas stations.
Second-generation owners, brothers Michael Devino Jr., president; Martin Devino, chief financial officer; and Thomas Devino, vice president, helped to significantly grow the retail gasoline business by pursuing desirable real estate, going to market with an aggressive pricing strategy, and offering consistent and high-quality service to their customer base, the company said.
“We have built a solid and thriving business over the past 74 years and are proud of everything we have accomplished,” said Michael Devino.
Rocky Hill, Conn.-based CCO LLC (dba Sam’s Food Stores) and associated entities are part of a privately held, vertically integrated real estate investment, leasing, development/management company, private direct lender and motor fuel distribution company with over 245 owned, leased or supplied motor fuel locations and convenience stores. Sam’s Food Stores ranked No. 34 on CSP’s 2021 Top 202 list of the largest c-store chains in the country. The company's assets also include commercial plazas, parking lots, apartment complexes, wholesale warehouses and specialty smoke shops.
Matrix Capital Markets Group Inc., Richmond, Va., provided merger and acquisition advisory services to Mercury Fuel Service, which included valuation advisory, marketing the business through a confidential, structured sale process, and negotiation of the sale and lease transactions.
“We have known the Devino family for many years and in helping them with their strategic planning decisions, discussed the state of the M&A market and value drivers for convenience retail and fuels distribution assets at various times,” said Cedric Fortemps, co-head of Matrix’s Downstream Energy & Convenience Retail Investment Banking Group. “When the time was right for them, we were honored to have been engaged to help them monetize the exceptional business they built.”