Empire Petroleum Partners LLC and Atlas Oil Co. have combined their retail dealer businesses to create a powerful, national fuel distributor.
The combined entity will service 1,350 accounts in 29 states and distribute nearly one-billion gallons of fuel annually. The addition of the Atlas retail business significantly enhances Empire’s fuel volumes while strengthening its relationships with its branded partners, including Marathon, ConocoPhillips, Citgo and BP.
As part of the merger, Sam Simon, chairman and CEO of Atlas, will retain a significant ownership stake in Empire and will join its Board of Directors in an influential role.
“We are pleased to welcome Sam, an industry veteran and successful executive, as our partner,” said Hank Heithaus, CEO of Empire. “Sam has a long history of innovation and growth and we look forward to capturing his entrepreneurial energy and vision.”
Atlas’s retail dealer business, which represents less than 24% of Atlas’s total fuel volume, will be merged with Empire while its core commercial and industrial segment will remain in place and be strengthened for growth.
“We have always strived for innovation and progression as a company and our partnership with Empire creates immediate scale and future opportunities,” said Simon. “We believe the combination of our retail fuel volumes will fortify Empire’s leadership position in the industry and enable us to better serve our customers, employees and suppliers.”
As part of the combination, Empire will receive additional equity capital from its financial sponsor, American Infrastructure MLP Funds (“AIMLP”), as well as other significant shareholders. In addition, Empire recently expanded its credit facility to $250 million to close several strategic acquisitions and to support future growth initiatives.
“The Empire partnership was formed in 2011 to bring industry leaders together to create a powerful and lasting fuel distributor,” said Bob Hellman, chairman of the Board at Empire and CEO and managing director at AIMLP. “The addition of Atlas and Sam Simon to our partnership is an important milestone and we greatly welcome Sam’s involvement, guidance and stewardship.”