The Return of Isal Amlat

Empire Petroleum strikes deal to sell half of company to Israeli concern

Published in CSP Daily News

By
Steve Holtz, Online News Director & Beverage Editor

ROCKVILLE, Md. -- An Israeli company is making inroads into the U.S. petroleum-retailing industry with its announced intent this week that it will purchase 50% of Empire Petroleum Holdings LLC, a company held by Empire Petroleum Marketing LLC.

Isal Amlat Investments Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding stating its intent to purchase half of the Rockville, Md.-based company for $6 million, according to Empire Petroleum vice president Jarett Minkoff. We're working toward this [deal], and we are extremely confident that all parties will come to an [image-nocss] understanding, Minkoff told CSP Daily News.

Although Minkoff would answer few questions about the deal until it is completed later this month, he did say the deal will meet goals set by both companies. We're always interested in growing, he said. This is a great opportunity for them to get into the market and for us to grow.

Empire Petroleum, a Lukoil distributor, has long-term contracts to supply 65 million gallons of fuel a year to 140 gas stations on the East Coast. Minkoff confirmed that Empire does own some of those stations, but he would not say how many.

This is Isal Amlat's second attempt to enter the U.S. petroleum-retailing market. Last year, it agreed to purchase nine gas stations in South Carolina for $11.2 million, but pulled out following the due-diligence review, according to a report in Israel's Globes newspaper.

Isal Amlat has investments in industry, real estate, and commerce. It holds a controlling stake in cosmetics chain New Pharm Ltd. and battery producer Schnapp Ltd. It is a public subsidiary of Kaman Holdings, traded on the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange. Kaman Holdings holds 73% of Isal Amlat stock. Founded in 1987, Isal Amlat was acquired by Kaman Holdings in early 2005.

Isal Amlat previously held a stake in Delek US Holdings Inc. It sold its share of the company on June 14, 2007.

By Steve Holtz, Online News Director & Beverage Editor
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