Matrix Announces the Successful Sale of SMO, Inc.’s Tidewater Virginia Wholesale & Retail Fuel Assets
BALTIMORE, MD – September 5, 2013 – Matrix Capital Markets Group, Inc. (“Matrix”) announces the successful sale of twenty-four (24) wholesale & retail fuel assets located in the Tidewater region of Virginia (collectively the “Tidewater Fuel Assets”) for SMO, Inc. (“SMO” or “Company”). The Tidewater Fuel Assets have been sold to Virginia Beach, Virginia based PAPCO Inc., and are comprised of eleven (11) commission agent sites, four (4) lessee dealer sites, and nine (9) branded fuel supply accounts. SMO marketed Shell branded motor fuels at twenty-three (23) of the units and Exxon motor fuels at one (1) location. As part of the transaction, PAPCO entered into a wholesale marketer agreement with Motiva Enterprises, LLC (“Motiva”) to retain and continue growing the Shell brand in the Tidewater Virginia region.
SMO is a leading retail and wholesale petroleum distribution gas station network and supplies a large network of motor fuels retailers operating throughout Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. The Company is one of the largest independent wholesale petroleum marketers of Shell product in the United States, with over 90% of its motor fuels product coming from Shell Oil. SMO is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Wills Group, Inc., which was founded in 1926 and headquartered in LaPlata, MD. For over 85 years, The Wills Group has been serving the Mid-Atlantic region through its brands – SMO, Dash In Food Stores, and SMO Motor Fuels. These three brands offer a diverse mix of fuels, equipment and services for its customers, including heating oil, propane, motor fuels, convenience retail franchising, HVAC equipment and service, as well as dealer development via branding, construction, convenience store development, environmental maintenance and compliance, and marketing support programs.
SMO purchased the majority of the Tidewater Fuel Assets from Motiva as part of Motiva’s divestment of the Richmond market in 2004. Management sought to divest the Tidewater Fuel Assets in order to focus its financial and human capital on its core marketing areas. Lock Wills, President and CEO of The Wills Group, commented on the transaction, “Matrix ran an orderly process, allowing us to realize our business and financial objectives.”
Matrix provided merger and acquisition advisory services to SMO, which included valuation advisory, transaction structuring, marketing and negotiating. The transaction was managed by Tom Kelso, Managing Director and head of the Energy and Multi-Site Retail Group and Spencer Cavalier, Director. Sean Dooley, Associate and Andrew LoPresti, Senior Analyst also worked on the transaction. Mr. Cavalier commented, “Matrix greatly appreciates the opportunity to advise and execute on behalf of SMO on its divestment of the Tidewater Fuel Assets in order to reallocate that capital into other areas of The Wills Group enterprise.”
Stephen Owen and Elizabeth Karmin of DLA Piper served as legal counsel for SMO.