VP Racing Fuels has announced its partnership with Allied Brand Services LLC (ABS), a specialty finance platform to provide funding in support of imaging and conversion costs incurred by gas station and convenience store Dealers that partner with VP in its Retail Branding Program, as well as other VP partners.
VP spun off a majority of the equity interest to the Cerminaro Group LLC, which will independently manage this specialty finance platform. ABS will initially focus on serving the retail petroleum distribution market and has been designated VP’s “Preferred Lending Partner.”
ABS provides up to 100% financing for Dealer imaging and conversion loans, including the cost of canopy/signage materials, LED signage, permits, construction and installation. ABS will provide both loan and lease options, as well as offer low monthly payments with up to 60-month terms, minimal upfront costs and competitive interest rates, coupled with a long-term relationship philosophy.
“This new financing partnership is just another positive step towards driving value for our VP Branded Dealer and Distributor relationships,” said Alan Cerwick, president of VP Racing Fuels.
“A primary objective of VP’s Retail Branding Program is to help gas station and c-store Dealers become more competitive and more profitable in great part through a combination of operational savings and new revenue streams,” said Cerwick. “In our model the cost of re-imaging is borne by the Dealers, so in keeping with the spirit of our Program, ABS will ensure the loan application process is efficient and the financing terms are competitive.”
“This specialty financing program is not restricted to our Branding partners,” Cerwick added. “Race fuel distributors, dealers, race tracks and others who partner with VP, as well as non-VP related dealers and distributors are also eligible to receive the favorable rates and terms offered by ABS.”
“By spinning off a majority interest in ABS to the Cerminaro Group LLC, we’ll benefit from a strategic partner better suited to fund and manage this new specialty financing platform,” Cerwick continued. “The Cerminaro Group has extensive experience with multimillion dollar financing programs and is uniquely qualified to fund a rapidly growing Retail Branding Program like VP’s. By establishing ABS as an independent third party, it also positions them to better serve the borrowing needs of dealers and distributors that have no direct relationship with VP.”
Cerwick commented, “Michael Cerminaro, who is the President & CEO of the Cerminaro Group LLC, is uniquely qualified to take ABS to the next level. He has over 29 years of experience in commercial lending, private equity and private credit. He was a co-founding member of Bank of America’s global leverage finance platform, one of the original senior partners that helped launch BlackRock Private Equity Partners, and a co-founder of Sound Harbor Partners (a private credit and collateralized loan obligation manager).”
“I am excited about this opportunity to work with VP Racing Fuels,” said Cerminaro. “The enthusiasm I’ve witnessed among the distributors and dealers signing on to VP’s Retail Branding Program has been infectious. VP continues to lead the market with explosive growth in branding gas stations and c-stores, driven by its innovative brand management offering and strong management team. The VP Brand value proposition brings tremendous strategic advantage to distributors and dealers by helping to put them back in control of their business.” Cerminaro added, “We’re eager to jump in and work with the extensive pipeline of prospects that VP has originated.”
ABS also intends to partner with original equipment manufactures to offer comprehensive vendor financing programs on fuel dispenser equipment; credit card readers; POS systems; PCI equipment; and other related in-store equipment. “The primary goal of ABS is to deliver quick responses and superior service, including expert advice on financing terms and structuring,” said Cerminaro. “We will continue to invest to make sure that the ABS financing programs work to our clients’ advantage, by helping them build competitive power and profits.”
In addition, ABS is working with VP to develop the ABS/VP “C-Store University” which will offer discounted fees for a range of cross-functional consulting services to VP Branded C-store dealers including operational assessment; primary distribution evaluations; information system analysis; food service reviews; and loss prevention services.