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Matrix Announces the Successful Sale of The Hartley Company

RICHMOND, VA / BALTIMORE, MD – October 16, 2019 – Matrix Capital Markets Group, Inc. (“Matrix”), a leading, independent investment bank, announces that it has advised The Hartley Company, d/b/a Starfire, (“Hartley” or the “Company”) on the sale of its convenience retailing and petroleum marketing assets to Massillon, Ohio based Campbell Oil Company, d/b/a BellStores.  Hartley directly operated 16 convenience retailing and petroleum marketing locations and distributed wholesale fuels to multiple company owned, dealer operated sites and open dealers.

Hartley was founded in Cambridge, Ohio in 1912 when W.H. Hartley built the first gasoline station located between Columbus, Ohio and the Pennsylvania state line. In 1925, Hartley became a distributor for Shell Oil Company and quickly grew from ten stations to one of the largest jobberships in Ohio.  In the 1970s, The Hartley Company established the Starfire brand to distinguish itself from other independent operators.  The Starfire branding revitalized the Company, and in the 2000s, under the fifth generation of Hartley leadership, headed by Doug Hartley, President, and Eric Johnson, Senior Vice President, the Company grew to become one of the leading petroleum marketers in the region through its acquisition of additional stores from BP.

Matrix provided merger and acquisition advisory services to Hartley, 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, Co-Head of Matrix’s Downstream Energy & Convenience Retail Group; Andrew LoPresti, Vice President; and Martin McElroy, Senior Analyst.

Doug Hartley, President of Hartley, commented, “This was a long and thought out process to come to the decision of putting our fuel business on the market. With the experience, knowledge and professionalism of Matrix, we felt very comfortable and confident in the process.  We know we made the right decision for the right reasons, and Matrix has made this a smooth and excellent transaction.”

Mr. Cavalier added, “We have had a very long and meaningful relationship with the Hartley family, providing valuation guidance since the early 2000s, divesting over 20 locations in 2006, and now advising the shareholders on the ultimate sale of the Company.  We feel honored to have worked with such a successful and entrepreneurial multi-generational family over such a long period of time.”

Tammera Diehm of Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. served as legal counsel for Hartley.