As Anabi Oil Corp. moves to buy certain Shell-branded gasoline properties and related wholesale distribution rights in Northern and Southern California, The Central Valley Fund (CVF) and its co-investor, San Diego-based Huntington Capital, have partnered to support the acquisition.
CVF, a private investment fund focused on middle market Central Valley companies, has announced an $8.5M mezzanine investment in Anabi Oil Corp. and its affiliates (AOC).
The transaction will help AOC’s expansion to underserved markets in the Central Valley and the Inland Empire.
“Becoming a wholesaler for Shell Oil is a much anticipated milestone for (AOC),” said Sam Anabi, AOC’s president. “Given the size and scope of the acquisition, my wife, Rene, and I sought out a mezzanine capital partner who could support us in completing the transaction and, more importantly, in successfully integrating this new channel of business into our platform. CVF and Huntington Capital are the right complement to our hands-on management style. We look forward to their insight as we continue our effort to cement the Company as a major regional player.”
Founded in 1991 with a single station, AOC has grown its site base and reputation by running high-quality stations in strategically selected locations that maximize customer traffic at the retail pump and in the convenience store.
With this acquisition, part of a larger divestiture effort by Shell Oil Products U.S. of 200 service stations in California, AOC supplements its existing portfolio in Southern and Northern California. AOC is not only set to upgrade its existing owner/operator portfolio with this acquisition, but also significantly will expand its revenue base by gaining rights to distribute gasoline to at least 80 stations throughout California. This second aspect of the transaction is expected to enable AOC to become a major regional player with retail property interests, operational responsibilities and wholesale distribution capabilities throughout the state.
“We are pleased to be a part of Anabi Oil’s expansion as it broadens its operating platform to include wholesale gasoline distribution,” said Jose Blanco, a partner with CVF. As Shell Oil and other major diversified oil companies have divested retail stations and distribution assets as part of a heightened focus on exploration and production, opportunities have arisen for the better independent operators, like Sam and Rene Anabi, to purchase and accelerate the performance of these assets through their unique product and service models.”