Potential' Energy

Published in CSP Daily News

EZ Energy confirms interest in Petro Group, but no negotiations in the works

By  CSP Staff,

MECHANICSVILLE, Va., & CLEVELAND -- Call it one item on a wish list rather than an active takeover target, but EZ Energy Ltd. acknowledges that Petro Group Ltd.parent company of the Fas Mart and Shore Stop convenience store chains in the United Statesis among "potential acquisitions" that the company is watching.

"Our CEO attended a meeting of their bondholders," Oren Zahavi, CEO of EZ Energy USA Inc., confirmed to CSP Daily News yesterday. "We are continuously monitoring potential acquisitions and have been approached by various parties to take a look at Petro [image-nocss] Group, but there is nothing concrete going on at the moment and we are not negotiating anything concerning Petro Group."

It's the second part of Zahavi's comment that Dave McComas, CEO of GPM Investments Inc., owner and operator of Fas Mart and Shore Stop, wanted to get across yesterday, making it clear that no action has been taken to set a buyout in motion.

"I have verified with the CFO and the chairman of Petro Group, personally, and they have told me there's nothing going on [with EZ Energy Ltd.]," he said.

As reported in CSP Daily News yesterday, EZ Energy CEO Avi Geffen attended Petro Group bondholders meeting in Tel Aviv, this past Thursday, to learn more about the company. Again, as Zahavi said after that meeting, "There is nothing concrete going on at the moment and we are not negotiating anything concerning Petro Group."

Through Cleveland-based subsidiary EZ Energy USA Inc., EZ Energy Ltd., Ramat Gan, Israel, operates 97 convenience stores in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Georgia.

Tel Aviv-based Petro Group's main asset, Mechanicsville, Va.-based GPM Investments Inc., operates 214 Fas Mart, Shore Stop and Double Kwik locations in the eastern United States, including in Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Tennessee, Connecticut and Rohde Island. The company owns 25 of the sites and leases 189 on long-term leases. It also sublets about 120 sites to third-party operators to which it sells fuel.

GPM has been the target of acquisition before. In March, a deal by investment firm Metis Capital Ltd. for Australian gas station operator United Petroleum Pty Ltd. to acquire GPM fell through.

Watch for more information about EZ Energy and its growth strategy in the June issue of CSP magazine.