Mergers & Acquisitions

Petroleum Marketing Group Acquires 19 C-Stores

With sale of its retail, wholesale businesses, Holt Oil exits petroleum marketing industry
Photograph courtesy of Petroleum Marketing Group inc.

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Petroleum Marketing Group Inc. (PMG) has acquired Holt Oil Co. Inc.’s 19 petroleum marketing and convenience stores and wholesale dealer business as the seller’s family exits the industry.

Holt Oil is a third-generation, family-owned and -operated business. In 1930, William D. Holt founded predecessor entity Crystal Oil Co. in Fayetteville, N.C. The company originally operated a few gas stations and later moved into the home heating oil business. In 1958, William’s son, Charles, joined the company and helped secure Holt Oil’s first Gulf distributorship. William’s youngest son, Henry, joined the company, and they operated the business as partners for more than 40 years, increasing the station count to 22 sites across four counties in North Carolina. Other family members joined the company, which continued to expand its company-operated convenience stores and in 1989 opened its first Subway franchise.

Richmond, Va.-based independent investment bank Matrix Capital Markets Group Inc. provided merger-and-acquisition (M&A) advisory services to Holt Oil, which included valuation advisory, marketing the business through a confidential, structured sale process and negotiation of the sale.

“It has been a pleasure to be involved in this family business serving the motoring public for all these many years,” said Louis Cox, president of Holt Oil. “It has been an honor to work alongside the best group of people I could ask for. We had very specific guidelines in choosing a buyer. Matrix was instrumental in that process. I am confident that we made the right choice with PMG.”

Founded in 2001, Falls Church, Va.-based Petroleum Marketing Group goes back to the 1970s when Hossein Ejtemai purchased his first gas station, an Arco location in Aspen Hill, Md. He acquired several more sites in the Washington, D.C., area and by 2001 his operations had grown large enough to formally incorporate a new organization, PMG. The company diversified its activities, adding fuel distribution services to its offerings. PMG also began making acquisitions, purchasing 150 sites in Maryland and Virginia in 2004, and adding more than 500 more by the end of 2012. PMG has continued to expand its holdings and services, acquiring locations throughout the eastern United States and opening airport plazas at several international airports. It now has approximately 1,200 gas stations from Maine to Florida, making it one of the largest wholesalers and distributors of petroleum products on the East Coast. The company’s transportation division and its partners collectively deliver more than a billion gallons of fuel per year, it said.

Matrix Managing Director Sean Dooley managed the transaction for Holt Oil with Spencer Cavalier, co-head of Matrix’s Downstream Energy & Convenience Retail Investment Banking Group, Kyle Tipping, associate, and James Mickelinc, senior analyst. The Downstream Energy & Convenience Retail Investment Banking Group provides transactional advisory services to companies in the downstream energy and multi-site retail sectors including convenience retailing, petroleum marketing and distribution, propane distribution, heating oil distribution, lubricants distribution, petroleum logistics, terminals and car washes. Matrix’s advisory services include company sales, recapitalizations, capital raises of debt and equity, corporate carveouts, special situations, management buyouts, corporate valuations and fairness opinions.

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