Matrix 2023 Year In Review

As we reflect back on 2023, we are filled with gratitude to have served so many outstanding clients who placed their trust in our guidance. We are also thankful for all the opportunities to advise on a dynamic range of M&A transactions, capital raises, and valuation mandates.

Despite a challenging M&A and capital markets backdrop, 2023 was one of Matrix’s most successful years as a Firm in both deal volume and transaction value. Our bankers completed transactions across most every major industry we cover. As always, our bankers are fiercely dedicated to achieving client goals, which requires an unwavering commitment to detailed execution, creativity, and independent advocacy.

We look forward to the upcoming year with great optimism and wish you a successful and prosperous 2024.

 


Matrix Advises on the Sale of Hicks Oils’ Lubricants Business to Schaeffer Manufacturing Company

RICHMOND, VA / BALTIMORE, MD – February 7, 2024 – Matrix Capital Markets Group, Inc. (“Matrix”), a leading, independent investment bank, announces that it has advised Hicks Oils & Hicksgas, Incorporated (“Hicks” or the “Company”) on the sale of its Hicks Oils lubricants business to Schaeffer Manufacturing Company (“Schaeffer”). Hicks Oils is a premier independent lubricant blending and packaging business in southern Illinois that produces automotive and industrial lubricants. Schaeffer, founded in 1839 and based in St. Louis, produces and sells a broad range of synthetic motor oils, industrial lubricants, hydraulic fluids, and other related products.


Based in Du Quoin, Illinois, Hicks Oils was formed in 1978 by C. W. Hicks as a further expansion of his integrated petroleum operations, with the initial goal of providing products and services to the local coal mining industry. In 1989 upon the passing of Mr. Hicks, his grandsons Todd and Shawn Coady joined the Company and took over running the lubricants business and the family’s multiple other companies. Shawn Coady currently serves as President of the business and Todd as Vice President. Throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s as markets changed, the business evolved and expanded to include contract packaging, private label, and company branded products. Today, Hicks Oils blends and packages motor oil, hydraulic fluid, gear lubes, transmission fluids and various specialty lubricants for distributors, major oil companies, OEMs, and after-market providers.

Matrix provided merger and acquisition advisory services to the Company, which included valuation advisory, marketing the business through a confidential, structured sale process, and negotiation of the sale. The transaction was managed by John Underwood, Managing Director; Vance Saunders, CPA, Managing Director; Andrew LoPresti, CPA, CFA, Vice President; Jared de Perio, Analyst.

Dr. Shawn Coady, President of Hicks said, “When I decided to sell the business, I had significant experience with Matrix from various propane market transactions and was confident they were the right company to handle the transaction. Hicks Oils is a unique business, and they did an exceptional job handling the sale. I am very pleased with Schaeffer as the buyer. I believe the strategic and cultural fit of the two companies will provide significant growth opportunities, as well as a great work environment for Hicks’ employees.”

Mr. Underwood added, “We have valued our relationship with Dr. Coady for many years and we were honored when he chose Matrix to sell the Hicks’ lubricants blending and packaging business. We very much appreciate the trust that Shawn placed in the Matrix team and the contributions from him and his operating team during the sales process.”

Bill Scott of Allen & Korkowski & Associates served as legal counsel for Hicks.


Matrix Advises on the Sale of Eastern Sierra Propane to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P.

RICHMOND, VA / BALTIMORE, MD – January 29, 2024 – Matrix Capital Markets Group, Inc. (“Matrix”), a leading, independent investment bank, announces that it has advised Eastern Sierra Propane (“Eastern Sierra” or the “Company”) on its sale to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. (OTC: FGPR) (“Ferrellgas”). The Company is one of the premier propane retailers in the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountain range, serving both residential and commercial customers.

Eastern Sierra Propane Tombstone
The Company was founded in 1993 in Bishop, CA by Tom Sigler and Rudy Forster. Initially, Eastern Sierra was run out of Tom Sigler’s house, and propane storage was obtained by using a 12,000-gallon tank at a customer's location in exchange for installing vapor meters on his gas dryers. It soon became very clear that the Company needed a much larger space and their own propane storage. As such, the Company leased a nearby property in Bishop, CA and installed their first 30,000-gallon propane tank.

Tom Sigler subsequently acquired Rudy Forster’s 50% ownership interest, and Tom along with his son, Jason Sigler who joined in 1998, have significantly grown the Company over the last two plus decades.

Matrix provided merger and acquisition advisory services to the Company, which included valuation advisory, marketing the business through a confidential, structured sale process, and negotiation of the sale. The transaction was managed by Sean Dooley, CFA, Managing Director; Spencer Cavalier, CFA, Co-Head of Matrix’s Downstream Energy & Convenience Retail Investment Banking Group and Nate Wah, CPA, Senior Associate.

Tom Sigler, President and Shareholder of Eastern Sierra, said, “When I decided to sell my business I researched companies who had the best transaction closing results, and I found that Matrix Capital was the top firm. They were helpful by first providing me with a valuation of my business and then finding a buyer who was the best fit for my employees and customers. I am glad that I made the decision to choose Matrix for there were many challenges along the way and they were there to help. Sean Dooley and Nate Wah were more than helpful in walking me through those challenges. I would recommend Matrix to anyone who was considering selling their business.”

Mr. Dooley added, “We very much appreciate the trust that Tom placed in us to advise him on the sale of the Company that he and his family worked so hard to build. It was a pleasure working with him and the Ferrellgas team on this transaction, and we wish Tom and Jason all the best in their future endeavors.”

Stephen Kappos served as legal counsel for Eastern Sierra.


Matrix Advises on the Sale of Shape LLC

RICHMOND, VA / BALTIMORE, MD – January 26, 2024 – Matrix Capital Markets Group, Inc. (“Matrix”), a leading, independent investment bank, is pleased to announce the sale of Shape LLC (“Shape” or the “Company”) to an undisclosed buyer. Prior to the sale, Shape was owned by funds managed by Gen Cap America, Inc. (“Gen Cap”), a private investment firm headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee.

Shape Tombstone
For over half a century, Shape has operated as the premier manufacturer and designer of custom electrical transformer equipment, with its products utilized to regulate output current and ensure constant power across multiple end-uses. From its 40,000 square foot facility in Addison, Illinois, the Company supports the mission-critical needs of its international customer base. Shape’s engineers and management team possess over a century of collective experience and were the architects of the ferroresonant transformer, a power supply that uses nonlinear magnetic properties and a resonant circuit to provide a stable output. This technology is particularly applicable to airport lighting, semiconductors, power supplies, and ultraviolet curing. Shape has become an integral piece of its customers’ supply chains, as evidenced by numerous decades-long relationships. Following the transaction, all three of Shape’s management-owners, Greg Babecki (CEO), Doug Hickey (COO), and David Lanes (CFO), will retain all existing day-to-day responsibilities.

Regarding the transaction, Mr. Babecki commented, “We are excited to have found a partner that both appreciates and complements our Company’s unique offerings. We believe there are numerous benefits to this acquisition for our valued employees, customers, and vendors.” He added, “We are grateful for Gen Cap’s stewardship and partnership over the past nine years and are thrilled for what the next chapter alongside our new partners will bring us.”

Matrix provided merger and acquisition advisory services to Gen Cap and Shape, which included valuation advisory, marketing the business through a confidential, structured sale process, and negotiation of the transaction. The transaction was managed by William O’Flaherty, Managing Director; David Shoulders, Managing Director; and Matt Oldhouser, CPA, Vice President.

Regarding Matrix’s services, Gen Cap Director, James Byrd added, “The Matrix team took a thoughtful and hands-on approach to all aspects of the transaction. At every juncture, they provided us with sound explanations underlying their advice. We believe we achieved the optimal outcome based on their experience and counsel.”

“It was a pleasure to represent Gen Cap on another divestiture from their portfolio. This is yet another example of a successful investment by their talented team,” Mr. O’Flaherty noted. “Shape is a fantastic business managed by exceptional people. I have no doubt that Greg, Doug, and Dave will find success alongside their new partners.”

Edward Burrell, Stuart Campbell, and Thomas Dozeman of Stites & Harbison, PLLC served as legal counsel for Shape. Mark Patterson and Chris Hight of KraftCPAs PLLC provided tax and accounting advisory services to the Company.


Matrix Advises on the Sale of Bobby Taylor Oil Company, Inc. & T&S Transport, Inc. to Parker Oil Company

RICHMOND, VA / BALTIMORE, MD – January 11, 2024 – Matrix Capital Markets Group, Inc. (“Matrix”), a leading, independent investment bank, announces the successful closing on the sale of Bobby Taylor Oil Company, Inc. and T&S Transport, Inc. (“BTOC” or the “Company”) to Parker Oil Company Incorporated. Based in Fayetteville, North Carolina, BTOC is a leading supplier of retail propane, commercial refined fuels, and racing gas to a diverse customer base of residential and commercial accounts throughout the state of North Carolina.

Bobby Taylor Tombstone
The Company was founded in August 1963 by Bobby Taylor, and at the time, operated out of Mr. Taylor’s home in Fayetteville, North Carolina. During its first years of business, the Company sold fuel oil, kerosene, and gasoline to its local customer base with just one tank wagon. Seeking to further diversify its business lines, BTOC added propane and racing fuels to its product mix and further expanded its customer base throughout central North Carolina. Following his father’s retirement in the early 2000’s, Johnny Taylor Jr. assumed the role of President of BTOC, and along with his brothers David and Mark, led the Company through several decades of continued success and growth.

Today, the Company operates two refined fuels and propane bulk plants in Fayetteville and Elizabethtown, NC and employs over 30 dedicated associates. For the past 60 years, Bobby Taylor Oil Company has been highly regarded as a best-in-class operation providing quality fuels and reliable service to the local communities.

Johnny Taylor Jr., the Company’s President commented, “Selling a business can be stressful; you will need experts in that field to help you navigate through the process. We were grateful to have Matrix handle this for us.”

Matrix provided merger and acquisition advisory services to BTOC, which included valuation advisory, marketing the business through a confidential, structured sale process, and negotiation of the transaction. The transaction was managed by John Duni, CFA, CPA, Vice President; Spencer Cavalier, CFA, ASA, Co-Head of Matrix’s Downstream Energy & Convenience Retail Investment Banking Group; and Jared de Perio, Analyst.

Mr. Cavalier added, “While Mr. Bobby Taylor laid the foundation, Johnny and his family built BTOC into one of the most reputable refined fuels and retail propane distributors in the industry, evidenced by their organic growth and customer retention rates. We were honored to serve as their advisor.”

R. Williford McCauley of Williford McCauley – Attorney at Law served as legal counsel to the Company.


Matrix Announces the Sale of Santmyer Companies, Inc.’s Convenience Retail and Branded Dealer Wholesale Businesses

RICHMOND, VA / BALTIMORE, MD – December 18, 2023 – Matrix Capital Markets Group, Inc. (“Matrix”), a leading, independent investment bank, announces that it has advised Santmyer Companies, Inc. (“Santmyer” or the “Company”) on the sale of its Red Rover convenience retail stores to Par Mar Oil Company and its branded dealer wholesale business to Countywide Petroleum Company (subsidiaries of Croton Holdings Co.). Santmyer is a leading privately-owned and family operated full-service distributor whose primary offerings include diesel, gasoline, propane, lubricants, diesel exhaust fluid and logistics services.

Santmyer was founded in 1952 when Myron Santmyer opened a Gulf service station in Dalton, OH, and became a Gulf distributor. In 1980, Terry Santmyer (Myron’s son) purchased the business, which at the time was comprised of just two tank wagons and four employees. Terry began building the Company into a leading full-service petroleum marketer that today employs more than 175 Ohioans. Santmyer purchased a Marathon jobbership in 1999, and in 2012, Zach Santmyer (Terry’s son) became president of the Company. Under Zach’s leadership, Santmyer expanded into propane, developed the Red Rover brand, became a Chevron-branded lubricants distributor, added the Sunoco and Exxon brands to offer customers a more comprehensive slate of fuels, and leveraged technology to modernize the Company.

In 2021, Zach engaged Matrix to perform a strategic review of the Company to assess capital allocation and the return on investment between business segments. With that analysis, the Company decided to focus on the distribution of propane, commercial fuels, and lubricants. In early 2023, Santmyer purchased the commercial fuels and propane assets of Cole Distributing and made the strategic decision to divest its convenience retail and branded wholesale businesses.

Matrix provided merger and acquisition advisory services to Santmyer, which included valuation advisory, marketing the business through a confidential, structured sale process, and negotiation of the sale. The transaction was managed by Andrew LoPresti, CPA, CFA, Vice President; Spencer Cavalier, CFA, Co-Head of Matrix’s Downstream Energy & Convenience Retail Investment Banking Group; and Kyle Tipping, CFA, Senior Associate.

Zach Santmyer, President of Santmyer, stated, “We are committed to evolving and growing our Company based on our core competencies, and we engaged Matrix years ago as an advisor in that planning and evaluation process. Based on our strategic goals, we decided to divest our convenience retail and branded dealer wholesale businesses to narrow our strategic focus on commercial fuels, propane, lubricants, automated cardlocks and car washes. This transaction puts Santmyer in a great position to pursue future growth opportunities that align with these segments going forward. The Matrix team ran a very structured process that yielded an outstanding result, and I would like to thank them for the expertise and dedication they provided throughout this transaction.”

Mr. Cavalier added, “We have had the honor of working with Santmyer’s talented management team for years. Zach and Nate have made a series of strategic decisions to grow the Company’s core distribution business. We are thankful to be their advisor.”

Christopher Pycraft and Easton Saltsman of Critchfield, Critchfield & Johnston served as legal counsel for Santmyer.


Matrix Announces the Successful Sale of Day Motor Sports, LLC

RICHMOND, VA/BALTIMORE, MD – November 14, 2023 – Matrix Capital Markets Group, Inc. (“Matrix”), a leading, independent investment bank, is pleased to announce the sale of Day Motor Sports, LLC (“Day Motor Sports” or the “Company”) to Chief Executive Officer Dan Hamilton and Chief Financial Officer Stacy Hamilton. Prior to the sale, Day Motor Sports was owned by funds managed by Gen Cap America, Inc. (“Gen Cap”), a private investment firm headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee.

Since 1971, Day Motor Sports has been a leading bumper-to-bumper distributor of aftermarket parts and supplies for the enthusiast racing industry. Headquartered in Tyler, Texas, the Company is the preeminent supplier of dirt track racing parts in the Southern United States, with the ability to ship to all 50 states and internationally. The business stocks over 15,000 SKUs in its 46,000 square foot facility, earning the Company a reputation as the premier one-stop entity for its targeted markets. Despite its origins as a catalog distributor, Day Motor Sports has grown its sales approach through multiple channels, including e-commerce, broadening its reach to retail customers, as well as local parts distributors, manufacturers, and institutional vehicle builders.

Matrix provided merger and acquisition advisory services to Day Motor Sports, which included valuation advisory, marketing the business through a confidential, structured sale process, and negotiation of the transaction. The transaction was managed by William O’Flaherty, Managing Director; David Shoulders, Managing Director and Head of Matrix’s Consumer & Industrial Investment Banking Group; Matt Oldhouser, CPA, Vice President; Sahan Pandey, Senior Analyst; and Hampton Massie, Analyst.

Mr. O’Flaherty remarked, “This transaction continues Matrix’s excellent momentum in the automotive and enthusiast markets. We see excellent opportunities ahead in each of these industries and are glad we were able to utilize our relevant expertise in this transaction.”

Mr. Shoulders added, “We are grateful to have had the opportunity to represent Gen Cap in this transaction. Our relationship with Gen Cap spans decades and we are pleased to have achieved a successful outcome on this important assignment. We also congratulate Dan and Stacy and wish them continued success.”

Tyson Bickley at Holland & Knight LLP served as legal counsel for Day Motor Sports.


Matrix Announces the Successful Sale of Coborn’s, Inc.’s Holiday Franchised Fuel and Convenience Stores

RICHMOND, VA/BALTIMORE, MD – November 9, 2023 – Matrix Capital Markets Group, Inc. (“Matrix”), a leading, independent investment bank, announces that it has advised Coborn’s, Inc. (“Coborn’s” or the “Company”) on the sale of its 14 Holiday franchised fuel and convenience stores and one developmental site to Holiday Stationstores, LLC.

St. Cloud, Minnesota based Coborn’s is a 102-year-old, employee-owned grocery retailer with nearly 10,000 employees and 77 grocery stores across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois under the banners Coborn’s, Cash Wise Foods, Hornbacher’s, Tadych’s Marketplace Foods and Sullivan’s Foods. Coborn’s entered the convenience store business in 1986 with its Little Dukes branded convenience stores and converted 14 locations to Holiday franchised stores in 2006. Coborn’s operates several fuel, liquor and pharmacy locations as well. To support its 200 various retail business units, Coborn’s also operates its own central bakery, dry cleaning facility and grocery distribution center.

Coborn’s was founded in 1921 by Chester A. Coborn who opened a one-room produce store in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota. Chris Coborn, a fourth-generation family member, is the current CEO and Chairman of the Board and his daughter Emily Coborn Wright, Vice President of Retail Support Services, and his son Peter Coborn, Director of Liquor Operations, are fifth-generation family members in leaderships roles.

Matrix provided merger and acquisition advisory services to Coborn’s, which included valuation advisory, marketing the business through a confidential, structured sale process, and negotiation of the sale. The transaction was managed by Spencer Cavalier, CFA, Co-Head of Matrix’s Downstream Energy & Convenience Retail Investment Banking Group; John Underwood, Managing Director; Nate Wah, CPA, Senior Associate; and G. Reilly Erhardt, CPA, Analyst.

Chris Coborn, CEO of Coborn’s stated, “We are very pleased with the assistance Matrix provided in divesting our Holiday franchised fuel and convenience stores. This is part of Coborn’s overall strategy to focus our growth efforts on the grocery store market. Matrix’s efforts have led to the successful sale of our Holiday franchise stores to our long-term franchisor partner, Holiday. The transaction provides continuity to our store employees and customers, as the stores will remain Holiday branded and continue to accept the Coborn’s MORE Rewards program. Matrix did an excellent job at meeting our strategic objectives in the sale.”

Mr. Underwood added, “Chris and his team have done a tremendous job growing the Coborn’s family business. The family legacy is incredibly impressive with what they have achieved over the last century since the Company’s founding. I am very pleased that Matrix was able to contribute to Coborn’s future growth by selling the Holiday franchised stores to allow for more capital deployment for Coborn’s strategic growth initiatives.”

Robert A. Rosenbaum and Morgan A. Helme of Dorsey & Whitney LLP served as external legal counsel for Coborn’s, Inc.


Matrix Announces the Successful Sale of Springer Eubank Company, Inc.

RICHMOND, VA/BALTIMORE, MD – November 2, 2023 - Matrix Capital Markets Group, Inc. (“Matrix”), a leading, independent investment bank, announces that it has advised Wilmington, NC-based Springer Eubank Company, Inc. and its affiliates (“Springer Eubank” or the “Company”) on the sale of the Company’s assets including the travel center & convenience & gas division (“TC&G Division”) and its delivered fuels and fuel transport divisions to an affiliate of Petroleum Marketing Group, Inc.

Springer Eubanks Tombstone
The origin of Springer Eubank dates back to the 1800’s when Springer Coal and Eubank Oil began marketing petroleum products in the coastal Carolinas.  In 1976, they merged to form Springer Eubank Oil Company, and in 2004 was acquired by W. Cecil Worsley, III and became Springer Eubank Company, Inc.   Greta Stanley, Springer Eubank’s Executive Vice President had previously worked with Mr. Worsley since 2005 at Worsley Companies (Scotchman Stores), and she later joined Springer Eubank in 2008 when the company sold.  At the time of the sale of Worsley Companies, Springer Eubank was a sister wholesale fuel company that was retained by Mr. Worsley.

Springer Eubank’s TC&G Division is comprised of nine company-operated convenience stores, one travel center, one cardlock, six dealer/agent operated sites and one greenfield landbank site located in the greater Wilmington, NC area, as well as eastern South Carolina.  The convenience stores operate under the locally well-known “Phoenix Mart” banner, while the travel center is branded “Phoenix Travel Center.”  The stores market major fuel brands including Amoco, Exxon and Sunoco and three locations feature the Company’s proprietary “Coastal Fuels” gasoline and diesel.  Three locations offer QSR foodservice, including two Subways and one Jimmy Johns.

The delivered fuels segment operates out of the Company’s bulk plant located near the port of Wilmington and distributes diesel, gasoline and kerosene to a variety of commercial and marine customers.  Springer Eubank’s fuel transport division supports both the TC&G and delivered fuels divisions and consists of a fleet of nine transports.

Matrix provided merger and acquisition advisory services to Springer Eubank, which included valuation advisory, marketing the business through a confidential, structured sale process, and negotiation of the transaction. The transaction was managed by David Corbett, CFA, Director; Spencer Cavalier, CFA, ASA, Co-Head of Matrix’s Downstream Energy & Convenience Retail Investment Banking Group; John Mickelinc, CFA, Senior Associate and Alexander Rakos, Senior Analyst.

Mr. Worsley commented, “I have known the Matrix team for many years and was aware of the outstanding reputation that they have in the industry.  Their knowledge of the market and skill in executing a highly effective M&A process made them the clear choice when deciding who to hire as an advisor.  Matrix was instrumental in achieving my goals for the sale of Springer Eubank.”

Mr. Corbett added, “Cecil and the Worsley family have been well-respected in the industry for many years.  Cecil has built Springer Eubank into one of the leading petroleum marketers in Wilmington and the surrounding areas.  We were honored to represent him in the sale of the Company as he transitions his focus to his other entrepreneurial ventures.”

Stephen Diab, Berry Trice and Lauren Williams of Murchison, Taylor & Gibson, PLLC served as legal counsel for Springer Eubank Company, Inc.


Matrix Announces the Successful Sale of Mystic Oil Company, Inc.

RICHMOND, VA / BALTIMORE, MD – August 23, 2023 – Matrix Capital Markets Group, Inc. (“Matrix”), a leading, independent investment bank, announces that it has advised Mystic Oil Company, Inc. and its affiliates (“Mystic Oil” or the “Company”) on its sale to Petroleum Marketing Group, Inc.  The Company sells fuels on a consignment and wholesale basis to approximately 150 Gulf, Citgo, ExxonMobil, Shell and unbranded customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York and Vermont.

Mystic Oil was founded in 1956 by Aaron Agrin and is a fourth-generation, family-owned and operated business with deep roots in Mystic, Connecticut. During its first few decades, the Company expanded its fuels offerings by becoming a top distributor of leading fuels brands such as ExxonMobil and Gulf while also developing a chain of company operated convenience stores. In 2008, Mystic Oil divested its company operated convenience store business and transitioned its focus to the wholesale fuels business. Peter Zelken became President of Mystic Oil in 2017 and acquired the Company from his father, Scott Zelken, that same year.  Since that time, under Peter’s leadership, Mystic has grown significantly and has become one of the leading fuels distributors in New England.

Matrix provided merger and acquisition advisory services to Mystic Oil, which included valuation advisory, marketing the business through a confidential, structured sale process, and negotiation of the sale. The transaction was managed by Cedric Fortemps, CFA, Co-Head of Matrix’s Downstream Energy & Convenience Retail Investment Banking Group; and Michael Tucker, CFA, Associate.

Peter Zelken, President of Mystic Oil, stated, “Matrix demonstrated an extraordinary understanding of the downstream petroleum business. They were patient, diplomatic, intelligent and trustworthy. It’s not easy handing the keys to a multigenerational family business to just anyone. My sincere thanks to Cedric Fortemps and Mike Tucker on a job well executed from start to finish.”

Mr. Fortemps added, “Peter has done a tremendous job growing Mystic Oil and making it a very attractive wholesale fuels business for any fuels company trying to establish a presence or grow in New England. We were honored to have been chosen by him to advise on finding the best transaction partner and steward for his exceptional fourth-generation business.”

Otto Konrad and Kaitlin Cottle of Williams Mullen served as legal counsel for Mystic Oil Company, Inc.


Matrix Announces the Successful Sale of H.A. Mapes, Inc.

RICHMOND, VA / BALTIMORE, MD – August 17, 2023 – Matrix Capital Markets Group, Inc. (“Matrix”), a leading, independent investment bank, announces that it has advised H.A. Mapes, Inc. (“H.A. Mapes” or the “Company”) on its sale to Nouria Energy Retail, Inc., a subsidiary of Nouria Energy Corporation (“Nouria”). While H.A. Mapes is known throughout New England as a leading petroleum distributor, the Company in recent years had expanded into convenience retail operations through acquisitions, new-to-industry builds, and major store remodels. Prior to the sale, the Company owned 13 retail locations and sold fuel on a wholesale basis to approximately 80 customers.

H.A. Mapes is a third-generation, family owned and operated business with roots in Springvale, Maine. The Company was founded in 1936 by Harry Allen Mapes as a small heating oil provider servicing customers in Springvale. In 1950, Harry’s son, Harry Allen Mapes, Jr. joined the business and helped the Company expand its reach throughout Southern Maine. For its first 40 years, H.A. Mapes focused on expanding its heating oil business throughout southern Maine. In 1982, Jonathan Mapes formally joined the third-generation family business. Under Jonathan’s guidance, H.A. Mapes transitioned from distributing heating oil to motor fuels and became one of the largest distributors in Maine.  In 2018, Jonathan began building out the Company’s convenience retail offerings, and in 2022 he unified each company-operated store with the launch of the Harry’s proprietary brand.

Matrix provided merger and acquisition advisory services to H.A. Mapes, which included valuation advisory, marketing the business through a confidential, structured sale process, and negotiation of the sale. The transaction was managed by Spencer Cavalier, CFA, Co-Head of Matrix’s Downstream Energy & Convenience Retail Investment Banking Group; Andrew LoPresti, CPA, CFA, Vice President; and Kyle Tipping, CFA, Senior Associate.

Jonathan Mapes, President of H.A. Mapes, stated, “In 2019 Matrix identified our deficiencies from a buyer’s perspective via their detailed evaluation.  Our team immediately embarked on a new approach to market.  We asked Matrix to re-evaluate in 2022 whereupon the decision to ‘go to market’ was made. I would recommend this two-step process to anyone considering the anguishing decision to sell as it can improve value considerably.  Transitioning out of the essential petroleum business has been an emotional yet a timely decision that Matrix facilitated professionally.”

Mr. Cavalier added, “We have enjoyed working with Jonathan and his talented team, including Steve McGrath, over the last several years providing valuation, strategic and transaction advisory services.  Jonathan’s family and employees built one of the premier petroleum marketing and convenience retailing businesses in New England, and it was an honor to be their advisor.”

Michael Quinlan of Jensen Baird served as legal counsel for H.A. Mapes, Inc.


Matrix Announces the Successful Sale of American Producers Supply Co., Inc.

RICHMOND, VA / BALTIMORE, MD – August 10, 2023 – Matrix Capital Markets Group, Inc. (“Matrix”), a leading, independent investment bank, is pleased to announce the recapitalization of American Producers Supply Co., Inc. (“American Producers”, “APS” or the “Company”), a leading value-added distributor of industrial and construction supplies, by Merit Capital Partners (“Merit”), a Chicago-based private equity firm with $2.2 billion under management. The transaction closed on July 19th.

APS traces its history back to 1898 in the Ohio Valley, when local entrepreneur Louis Goldish opened a small retail site, then known as American Supply, which sought to provide critical supplies to the surrounding economy. After several years, in an effort to expand its product categories and end markets, American Supply acquired Producers Industrial Supply to form what is now known as APS. From that original single retail site, Marietta, OH-based American Producers has now grown to 13 branch locations spanning Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Indiana. The Company represents blue chip industrial and construction vendors, including 3M, Milwaukee, Stanley Black & Decker, Generac, Ridge Tool, and Werner, among numerous others.

Since 1963, the Company has been owned by a single family, with the latest generation of ownership led by Chris Brunton. In 2010, Mr. Brunton brought Joe Wesel on board, a seasoned executive with decades of distribution experience in national organizations, marketing groups and buying groups. Mr. Wesel’s tenure has resulted in significant growth for the Company in nearly every aspect, including several new branch locations, the optimization of distribution and routing, the introduction of e-commerce operations, as well as the addition of hundreds of new customers. Mr. Wesel’s leadership has also seen expansion in APS’s presence within its competitive landscape. In an effort to support additional growth being driven by customer demand, Mr. Brunton and Mr. Wesel have chosen to partner with Merit in a recapitalization of the Company.

Regarding the transaction, Mr. Wesel, who will now assume the title of President and CEO, commented, “We are excited to be partnering with Merit to execute on the Company’s next phase of growth. We have an exceptional group of associates at APS that have helped us earn the trust of many of the top vendor and customer partners in our marketplace. Our transaction with Merit will allow us to continue to serve all of these stakeholders with the outstanding service levels that they’ve come to expect from American Producers.”

Both Mr. Brunton and Mr. Wesel will maintain a meaningful portion of ownership in APS.  American Producers has a specific targeted acquisition plan to continue to grow the Company beyond its existing 13 locations that provide delivery throughout the Midwest from Michigan to Alabama.

Matrix provided merger and acquisition advisory services to American Producers, which included valuation advisory, marketing the business through a confidential, structured sale process, and negotiation of the transaction. The transaction was managed by William O’Flaherty, Managing Director; David Shoulders, Managing Director and Head of Matrix’s Consumer & Industrial Investment Banking Group; Matt Oldhouser, CPA, Senior Associate; Sahan Pandey, Senior Analyst; and Hampton Massie, Analyst.

Regarding Matrix’s services, Mr. Wesel added, “The Matrix team was exceptional throughout this process. They achieved every objective we set out to accomplish and did so with a level of expertise and professionalism that was remarkable. The entire APS family thanks them for their efforts.”

Mr. O’Flaherty noted, “We were honored to receive this important mandate and are very excited to see the Company continue to thrive with this new partnership. Joe’s stewardship of this century-old business has been nothing short of remarkable. We know the financial and operational support that Merit will provide will enable APS to continue on its present impressive trajectory and provide a number of opportunities for the American Producers organization.”

John Selbach and Clarke Bonney of Whiteford, Taylor & Preston L.L.P. served as legal counsel for American Producers.  David Tenney of Tenney & Associates and Jeff Hawkins of Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC provided tax and accounting advisory services to the Company.


Matrix Announces the Successful Sale of Vital Plastics, Inc.

RICHMOND, VA / BALTIMORE, MD – July 18, 2023 – Matrix Capital Markets Group, Inc. (“Matrix”), a leading, independent investment bank, is pleased to announce the sale of Vital Plastics, Inc. (“Vital Plastics” or the “Company”), a high-volume manufacturer and assembler of injection molded plastic products, to Wolverine Capital Partners (“Wolverine Capital”).

Headquartered in Baldwin, WI, Vital Plastics provides injection molding, assembly operations, and tooling solutions to the transportation, industrial, consumer durable, and building product sectors. Operating out of two facilities, totaling over 65,000 combined square feet, the Company manufactures products such as automotive and window clips, industrial components and medical parts, among others, for a blue chip customer base of numerous Fortune 500 entities located throughout the United States. Value-added capabilities, including advanced engineering and design consulting, coupled with unrivaled responsiveness and customer service, has earned Vital Plastics its reputation as a preeminent manufacturer of injection molded products.

Over the past decade, leadership of the organization has transitioned from majority owner Terry Townsend to CEO George Hauser and President & CFO Matthew Fish. Mr. Hauser and Mr. Fish have been instrumental in helping grow and modernize the Company during that period, including driving the implementation of industry-leading automation and reporting systems. Mr. Fish will continue as the lead of day-to-day operations moving forward.

Regarding the transaction, Mr. Fish commented, “We are pleased to partner with the Wolverine Capital team. Of all the groups we interacted with, their team resonated most deeply with us given their straightforward approach and passion for building businesses. We are uniquely aligned in recognizing the attributes that have driven the Company’s success: its loyal employee base and longstanding customer relationships, most of which date back multiple decades. We look forward to our next chapter of growth with Wolverine Capital.”

Matrix provided merger and acquisition advisory services to Vital Plastics, which included valuation advisory, marketing the business through a confidential, structured sale process, and negotiation of the transaction. The transaction was managed by William O’Flaherty, Managing Director; David Shoulders, Managing Director and Head of Matrix’s Consumer & Industrial Investment Banking Group; Matt Oldhouser, CPA, Senior Associate; Sahan Pandey, Senior Analyst; and Hampton Massie, Analyst.

Regarding Matrix’s services, Mr. Hauser noted, “My partners and I were impressed by the level of commitment and sophistication that Matrix brought to the transaction. Their detailed knowledge of our specific industry, paired with their experience in transaction advisory, created tremendous value for us. We are extremely grateful for their efforts.”

Mr. O’Flaherty added, “We are thrilled to have found such an excellent partner for Vital Plastics. We congratulate Terry on building such an impressive business and commend George for the tremendous work he’s done as CEO to position the organization for the next phase of growth. We have no doubt that Matt will continue to find success as part of this new partnership given his commitment to providing world-class services to his customers.”

Brian Pitney and David Carroll of Sands Anderson PC served as legal counsel for Vital Plastics.  Dykema Gossett PLLC served as legal counsel for Wolverine Capital.


Matrix Announces the Successful Sale of BeWell Network, LLC

RICHMOND, VA / BALTIMORE, MD / NEW YORK, NY – July 17, 2023 – Matrix Capital Markets Group, Inc. (“Matrix”), a leading, independent investment bank, announces that it has advised BeWell Network, LLC (“BeWell” or the “Company”) on its successful sale to H.E.R. Management, LLC.

BeWell is a residential and outpatient behavioral health provider focused on the treatment of substance use disorder. The Company operates in two markets, San Juan Capistrano and Dana Point in Orange County, California and Santa Barbara, California.

BeWell’s service offerings include detoxification, residential care, a partial hospitalization program (PHP), and an intensive outpatient program (IOP) for substance use disorder treatment in both Orange County and Santa Barbara, as well as PHP and IOP for primary mental health care treatment in Santa Barbara. To support patients enrolled in BeWell’s outpatient programs, the Company also operates sober living homes in each of its two markets. The Company is contracted with many of the payors that have a significant presence in Southern California.

BeWell prides itself on the quality of its substance use disorder recovery programs and has a highly trained staff dedicated to patient recovery. The Company is also focused on developing active alumni programs to support patients once they are out of recovery.

BeWell is Joint Commission accredited and LegitScript certified.

Matrix provided M&A advisory services to BeWell, including marketing the transaction, advising on valuation, deal structure, and other transaction terms, and ultimately achieving a successful execution. The transaction was managed by Vasanta Pundarika, Head of Matrix’s Healthcare Investment Banking Group, Casey Van de Walle, Director, and Barrett Smith, Analyst.

Ms. Pundarika said, “We are happy to have worked with the owners of BeWell Network as their financial advisors on this transaction. Under new ownership, we look forward to seeing BeWell implement an enhanced growth strategy, while continuing to provide high quality care to its patients.”


Matrix Announces the Successful Sale of the Lawn & Garden Division of Antilles Power Depot Inc.

RICHMOND, VA / BALTIMORE, MD – June 28, 2023 –Matrix Capital Markets Group, Inc. (“Matrix”), a leading, independent investment bank, is pleased to announce the sale of the Lawn & Garden Division (“Antilles L&G” or the “Company”) of Antilles Power Depot Inc. (“APD”) to Freije Supply Inc. (“Freije Supply”). Antilles L&G is a leading distributor of Stihl, Walker, and other top brands in the lawn maintenance and equipment marketplace.

Headquartered in Carolina, Puerto Rico, with additional locations in the Dominican Republic, St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. Maarten, APD is a multifaceted, award-winning, distributor and service provider of power generation systems, as well as equipment and tools for lawn care. With over two decades of operating history, the Company has established a diverse commercial and residential customer base that utilizes Antilles L&G’s specialized sales and service capabilities.

Matrix provided merger and acquisition advisory services to Antilles L&G and APD, which included valuation advisory, marketing the business through a confidential, structured sale process, and negotiation of the transaction. The transaction was managed by David Shoulders, Managing Director and Head of Matrix’s Consumer & Industrial Investment Banking Group; William O’Flaherty, Managing Director; Matt Oldhouser, Senior Associate; and Sahan Pandey, Senior Analyst.

Mr. Shoulders noted, “We’re thrilled to have assisted the APD team in this important carve-out transaction, allowing them to focus on their core business. We enjoyed working with the Company and its exceptional management team and congratulate all parties on this successful outcome.”

Regarding Matrix’s services, Jason Hebert, President of APD, commented, “Matrix did an exceptional job navigating this highly complex corporate carve-out. I commend their knowledge of these nuanced transactions and am grateful for their assistance.” Addressing the transaction, he added, “We believe this divestiture creates exceptional value for all parties. The Freije Supply team is acquiring a complementary business with exceptional recurring revenue, and I’m confident they’re positioned to grow the business line. This additional capital allows APD to focus on and grow our core business, generator sales and service, while also supporting our growth in yacht and marine services, as well as our expansion into new physical locations throughout the Caribbean.”

Founded in 2014 in Carolina, Puerto Rico, Freije Supply is a wholesale distributor of electrical, plumbing, construction and other miscellaneous household products. Owned and operated by Manolo “Manuel” Freije III, Freije Supply maintains relationships with the most established brands in the markets it serves, including 3M, Delta, EcoSmart, General Electric, Rheem, and Simpson Strong-Tie, among numerous others. Freije Supply distributes to a diverse set of customers throughout the Caribbean. Financing for the transaction was provided by Bluhaus Small Business Fund, L.P., a Small Business Investment Company established to make debt and equity investments in businesses operating predominantly in Puerto Rico.

Bill Lowman and Jason Davis of ShuffieldLowman served as legal counsel for Antilles L&G and APD.


Matrix Advises Apollo Veterinary Medical Hospitals and AVMH Ventures on the Successful Recapitalization and Acquisition of a Portfolio of Pet Supplies Plus Stores

RICHMOND, VA / BALTIMORE, MD – June 12, 2023 – Matrix Capital Markets Group, Inc. (“Matrix”), a leading independent investment bank, announces that it served as lead advisor on Apollo Veterinary Medical Hospitals and AVMH Ventures’ (“Apollo” or the “Company”) recapitalization and acquisition of a multi-state portfolio of Pet Supplies Plus (“PSP”) retail pet stores.

A privately-owned company established in 1999 by Dr. Steven Whatley in Albany, GA, Apollo is a leading veterinary care provider in the Southeast.  The Company is comprised of nine full-service veterinary hospital locations throughout Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida.

Decades of experience in veterinary medicine and the commercial pet industry led Dr. Whatley to expand the business portfolio to include Pet Supplies Plus franchise retail stores thereby connecting knowledge, passion, and ability to serve customers, while growing profitably within the U.S. pet market.  PSP’s franchise platform, growth objectives, and support for owners aligned closely with Apollo’s business model and operating philosophy.

“We are proud to add this most recent portfolio of Pet Supplies Plus stores to our existing portfolio and further diversify and expand our business,” said Dr. Whatley, Chief Executive Officer of Apollo. “We are committed to operating best-in-class veterinary hospitals and Pet Supplies Plus stores, and we do that by forging personal relationships with our clients, patients, team members and the communities that we serve.  As we continue to expand our presence, we were fortunate to work with Matrix to structure and intermediate this important transaction.  Their experience, functional expertise, and objective approach were critical to securing capital on terms that were very attractive to the Company.”

Pet Supplies Plus, a subsidiary of Franchise Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: FRG), is focused on making it easier to get better products and services for their customers’ pets. With over 640 locations in 41 states and counting, the stores have a streamlined design making it easy to navigate a wide assortment of natural pet foods, goods, and services. Headquartered in Livonia, Michigan, Pet Supplies Plus is ranked No. 20 in Entrepreneur magazine's 43rd Annual Franchise 500® list as of 2022.

In its role as sole intermediary, Matrix provided capital advisory services to Apollo including financial modeling and sensitivity analysis, capital structure assessment, negotiation with counterparties, and placement of both debt and equity capital.  The assignment was managed by John Whalen, Head of Matrix’s Capital Advisory Investment Banking Group; Ryan Weir, Director and Garrett Novotny, CFA, CPA, Senior Analyst.

Mr. Weir added, “We very much appreciate the trust that Apollo placed in us to advise them on the capital raise and acquisition.  Apollo is a great operator and the addition of this portfolio of stores represents a transformational acquisition for the Company as it further scales and diversifies. Matrix was privileged to work with the Apollo Team.”


Matrix Announces the Successful Sale of WTG Fuels Holdings, LLC’s Retail Motor Fuels, Convenience Retail, and Fleet Fueling Businesses

RICHMOND, VA/BALTIMORE, MD – June 7, 2023 – Matrix Capital Markets Group, Inc. (“Matrix”), a leading, independent investment bank, today announced the successful closing on the sale of the retail motor fuels, convenience retail, and fleet fueling businesses of WTG Fuels Holdings, LLC (“WTG Fuels” or the “Company”) to subsidiaries of GPM Investments, LLC, a subsidiary of ARKO Corp. (Nasdaq: ARKO) (“GPM”).  The assets sold to GPM included 24 Uncle’s branded convenience stores, 68 Gascard branded cardlock sites, 43 private cardlock sites, the Company’s Gascard fleet card assets, and 9 consignment and wholesale dealer accounts.

WTG Fuels, based in Midland, Texas, is a large, diversified fuels distributor and convenience retailer with operations across west Texas and southeast New Mexico. Prior to the close of the transaction, the Company’s assets included a chain of high-volume convenience stores operating under its proprietary Uncle’s brand, a large fleet fueling business operating under its proprietary Gascard brand, and a delivered fuels business, serving residential and commercial customers, that ranks among the largest propane distributors in the Southwest. WTG Fuels’ delivered fuels business, which provides propane, refined products, and lubricants to nearly 19,000 residential and commercial customers through a network of over 70 bulk plants and warehouses, is not included in the sale to GPM and will continue to be operated by WTG Fuels post-closing.

WTG Fuels is a subsidiary of West Texas Gas (“WTG”), a leading provider of natural gas gathering, processing, transmission, and distribution services throughout Texas and Oklahoma.

Matrix provided merger and acquisition advisory services to WTG, which included valuation advisory, marketing the business through a confidential, structured sale process, and negotiation of the transaction. The transaction was managed by Vance Saunders, CPA, Managing Director; Cedric Fortemps, CFA, Co-Head of Matrix’s Downstream Energy & Convenience Retail Investment Banking Group; David Corbett, CFA, Director; John Duni, CFA, CPA, Vice President; and Michael Tucker, CFA, Associate.

John Steen, CEO of West Texas Gas, commented, “Matrix proved to be an indispensable partner and advisor to WTG on the divestiture of these assets. We appreciate all the efforts of the Matrix team over the course of this transaction.”

Mr. Saunders added, “Our relationship with WTG first began back in late 2021 as we helped the Company evaluate strategic alternatives for the WTG Fuels businesses. After reviewing several options, the decision was made to divest WTG Fuels’ retail motor fuels, convenience retail, and fleet fueling businesses through a carve-out process to maximize the value of the Company’s assets. We are grateful to WTG for entrusting us with this complex mandate.”

Larry Parker, Trevor Wind, Mary Katherine McGetrick, David Allen, Nico Balbontin, and Alston Underwood of Williams Mullen served as legal counsel for WTG Fuels.


Matrix Advises TBC Corporation on the Sale of NTB and Tire Kingdom Service Centers

RICHMOND, VA / BALTIMORE, MD – June 1, 2023 – Matrix Capital Markets Group, Inc. (“Matrix”), a leading, independent investment bank, announces that it has advised TBC Corporation (“TBC” or the “Company”) on the sale of TBC’s company operated retail businesses to Mavis Tire Express Services Corp. (“Mavis”). The sale includes TBC’s retail network of 595 tire and automotive service centers that utilize the NTB Tire & Service Centers (“NTB”) and Tire Kingdom Service Centers (“Tire Kingdom”) brands.

TBC, a joint venture between Sumitomo Corporation of Americas and Michelin North America Inc., is based in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and is one of North America’s largest marketers of automotive replacement tires. The Company executes a multi-channel marketing strategy that includes automotive retail, wholesale and distribution, and franchise operations. As part of the transaction, Mavis and TBC have entered into a distribution agreement, through which TBC will provide tire distribution and wholesale services for Mavis retail locations.

While both the NTB and Tire Kingdom brands have long, storied histories, the formation of TBC’s retail platform occurred during the early 2000s when the Company acquired both brands through separate acquisitions. Over the next two decades, TBC continued growing each brand and ultimately operated 392 NTB and 203 Tire Kingdom branded locations across a 17-state marketing territory prior to the sale to Mavis. Together, the NTB and Tire Kingdom brands represent the fourth largest independent tire dealership in the United States according to Modern Tire Dealer’s 2022 MTD 100 rankings.

Matrix provided merger and acquisition advisory services to TBC, which included valuation advisory, marketing the business through a confidential, structured sale process, and negotiation of the transaction. The transaction was led by Stephen Lynch, CFA, CPA, Managing Director and William O’Flaherty, Director.  David Shoulders, Head of Matrix’s Consumer & Industrial Investment Banking Group; Kyle Tipping, CFA, Senior Associate; Matt Oldhouser, CPA, Senior Associate and Alexander Rakos, Senior Analyst, also advised on the transaction.

Brian Maciak, Executive Vice President & General Counsel of TBC Corporation, recognized, “This transaction was complex and lengthy in duration, yet the efforts, professionalism, and attention to detail from the entire Matrix team have made it as seamless as possible to finalize the agreement and partnership between TBC and Mavis.”

Mr. Lynch added, “We are honored to have been chosen by TBC to not only market the NTB and Tire Kingdom brands, which are both incredibly well-known and respected within the automotive industry, but also to help the Company further develop this strategic partnership. The success of this transaction is a great reflection of the world-class organization that TBC and its shareholders have built, and we are very excited to watch TBC and Mavis grow and strengthen their partnership.”

Mr. O’Flaherty noted, “Matrix is thrilled to have achieved such an excellent outcome for our client, creating value in both the near and long-term for the Company. We were uniquely positioned to drive value in this transaction given our rich history of multi-site retail expertise paired with our knowledge and experience in the automotive aftermarket value chain. We congratulate TBC, Mavis, and their various stakeholders on this successful outcome.”

Bradley Edmister and Aafke Pronk of Hogan Lovells US LLP served as legal counsel for TBC.