Mercury Fuel Service has sold its 20 petroleum marketing and convenience retail stores and fuels wholesale business. Eight of the stores were acquired by EG Group and 12 of the stores and Mercury’s fuels wholesale business were acquired by affiliates of CCO (dba as Sam’s Food Stores).
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, Mercury also retained the real estate and entered into long-term leases with the buyers on a total of nine stores.
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, Mercury 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 fuels 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.
In regard to the transactions, Michael Devino commented, “We have built a solid and thriving business over the past 74 years and are proud of everything we have accomplished.” Martin Devino added, “Matrix’s unparalleled expertise advising companies in our industry and their relationships with the best potential buyers for our assets was invaluable to the successful outcome of our transaction.”
Matrix Capital Markets Group provided merger and acquisition advisory services to Mercury, which included valuation advisory, marketing the business through a confidential, structured sale process, and negotiation of the sale and lease transactions. The transaction was managed by Cedric Fortemps, co-head of Matrix’s downstream energy & convenience retail investment banking group and John Duni, the vice president.
Fortemps said, “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. When the time was right for them, we were honored to have been engaged to help them monetize the exceptional business they built.”