[Context: On February 22, First Reserve announced the acquisition of South Carolina-based Refuel and West Oil to form a retail fuel distribution platform. Further details and related links are below.]
First Reserve Announces Agreements To Acquire Refuel, Inc. Along With Expansion Acquisition, West Oil, Inc.; Establishes a Southeastern U.S. retail fuel distribution growth platform
STAMFORD, Conn. and HOUSTON and CHARLESTON, S.C. and LONDON, Feb. 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — First Reserve, a leading global private equity investment firm exclusively focused on energy, today announced the creation of a retail fuel distribution investment platform in the Southeastern United States. The cornerstone of the platform is an agreement to acquire Refuel, Inc. (“Refuel”), a South Carolina-based retail fuel distribution and convenience store chain with over a decade presence in this growth market.
As its first expansion acquisition for the Refuel brand, First Reserve concurrently announced an agreement to acquire West Oil, Inc. (“West Oil”), also based in South Carolina. Together, these companies have a combined 31 sites, establishing a robust, high-quality regional footprint.
Refuel was founded in 2008 by CEO Mark Jordan who has over 20 years’ experience developing, acquiring, and operating convenience stores and gas stations. Mr. Jordan will lead the combined platform along with CAO Travis Smith. West Oil, Inc. was founded in 1964, operating primarily in the northeastern region of South Carolina under the proprietary Markette store and West Oil fuel brands. Both companies share a dedication to their local markets, high-quality fuels, and superior service that is expected to remain unchanged. Further, the combined platform creates a profitable, strategically positioned portfolio from which to drive near-term growth.
Mark Jordan CEO of Refuel, stated, “The motivating force behind Refuel’s brand has been a commitment to quality and service on behalf of our customers and employees. We have been proud to partner with and showcase local brands in our convenience stores, while providing premium, quality gas in our pumps. I believe the West Oil acquisition represents an opportunity to increase our scale and density in the attractive South Carolina market, and we welcome the West Oil employees to our thriving family. Further, I am excited to partner with First Reserve to continue to accelerate our growth strategy and deliver for our communities.”
Gary Reaves and Neil Wizel, Managing Directors at First Reserve, added, “First Reserve has a history of backing experienced management teams with strong middle-market platforms to drive growth and create value for our stakeholders. We are pleased to partner with Mark Jordan and Travis Smith to establish a new platform in what we believe is the highly fragmented retail fuel distribution sector. Under their leadership, we believe Refuel, in part powered by the synergies of the combination with West Oil, is well-positioned for expansion in an attractive regional market.”
The transactions are expected to close in the first half of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions. Financial details of the transactions were not disclosed.
About First Reserve
First Reserve is a leading global private equity investment firm exclusively focused on energy. With 35 years of industry insight, investment expertise and operational excellence, the Firm has cultivated an enduring network of global relationships and raised approximately USD $31 billion of aggregate capital since inception. First Reserve has completed over 650 transactions (including platform investments and add-on acquisitions), creating several notable energy companies throughout the Firm’s history. Its portfolio companies have operated on six continents, spanning the energy spectrum from upstream oil and gas to midstream and downstream, including resources, equipment and services, and associated infrastructure.
Refuel is a growth platform focused on the highly fragmented retail fuel distribution and convenience store sector.