“By the formation of Coulson Real Estate Group, we can place increased focus on the acquisition and development of current and future holdings,” says chairman of Coulson Oil.
North Little Rock, Ark.-based Coulson Oil Co., one of the southwest’s largest independent distributors of motor fuels, has formed a new real estate company called Coulson Real Estate Group LLC, which formally launches, today, Aug. 1.
“Real estate has always played a large role in the growth and operation of our company. In fact, one of the reasons our founder, Ray Coulson, started the company was due to his passion for real estate,” said Mike Coulson, chairman of Coulson Oil Co. “The board of directors and I felt that by the formation of Coulson Real Estate Group, we can place increased focus on the acquisition and development of current and future holdings.”
Currently, the company has a real estate portfolio of properties throughout Arkansas. Coulson Real Estate Group will be charged with building the value of the company’s holdings, as well as taking on the responsibility of the management, development and financing of present and new real estate acquisitions.
Eddie Martin, currently Coulson Oil senior vice president and general counsel, has been named president of Coulson Real Estate Group. He joined the company in 2002, and has had primary responsibility for handling the company’s real estate operations.
“We are pleased that Eddie is taking on this new position for our real estate group,” Coulson said. “For more than 20 years, he has managed real estate transactions for companies large and small. We know that this experience, coupled with his nine years of real estate responsibility at Coulson Oil, will be of great benefit as we start this new venture.”
The company’s initial real estate efforts were targeted at the purchase of property for new retail motor fuel outlets. Approximately 100 of the company’s current property holdings are used for convenience store operations. However, with changes seen in the fueling and convenience stores industries over the past few decades, it has become more important than ever to ensure that these properties are being used to their best advantage.
“What we are seeing now is that some of our holdings may have a better use than serving as a c-store location,” Martin said. “We will be looking at the possibility of selling some properties to Coulson Oil dealers, while facilities at other locations we hold may be rebuilt to meet state-of-the-art convenience store standards. Our plan is to look at all our properties and determine what is in the best interest for the company, dealers and ultimately, our c-store customers.”
Martin said immediate plans for Coulson Real Estate Group include the sale of several existing properties, which could be used for purposes other than a retail fueling. The new company will also be looking at the possibility of rebuilding current stores. Long term, Coulson Real Estate Group will be investigating ways of diversifying holdings to include non-gas real estate properties, with the goal of rebalancing the current portfolio by property type, investment size and risk profile. Additionally, the company will be looking at acquisition of new properties outside of Arkansas.
The Real Estate Team
As president, Eddie Martin will have primary responsibility for establishing corporate direction and strategy. Before joining Coulson Oil, Martin was a partner in the Arkansas law firm of Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates and Woodyard PLLC, where he specialized in real estate, banking and corporate law. Much of his time at the firm was spent representing petroleum marketers on real estate matters. He holds his law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Jim Lynch, a 22-year veteran of Coulson Oil, will be manager of new business for Coulson Real Estate Group. He will be responsible for locating properties for acquisition, as well as cultivating relationships with landowners and jobbers. Lynch has more than 25 years in the retail industry, and has served as president of the board of education in Benton (AR).
Coulson Oil is a multi-branded distributor of gasoline and diesel fuels in Arkansas, Tennessee and Oklahoma. Through a network of more than 200 dealers, Coulson Oil markets branded fuels from Shell Oil, ConocoPhillips, Valero Energy and Sinclair Oil, as well as unbranded fuel.