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NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Coulson Oil Co., one of the Southwest's largest independent distributors of motor fuels, formed a new real estate company called Coulson Real Estate Group LLC.
"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 management, development and financing of present and new real estate acquisitions.
Eddie Martin, currently Coulson Oil's senior vice president and general counsel, has been named president of the Coulson Real Estate Group. He joined the company in 2002, and has had primary responsibility for handling the company's real estate operations.
The company's initial real estate efforts were targeted at the purchase of property for new retail motor fuel outlets. Approximately 100 of its current property holdings are used for convenience store operations. However, with changes seen in the fueling and c-store industries over the past few decades, it has become more important than ever to ensure these properties are being used to their best advantage, according to the company.
"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 other purposes. 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 its current portfolio by property type, investment size and risk profile.
Additionally, the company will be looking at acquisition of new properties outside of Arkansas.
North Little Rock-based Coulson Oil, founded in 1969, 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. Its various operating companies include Seahawk Transport, a 24/7 motor fuel carrier; CP Services & Testing, providing maintenance and similar services to both Coulson Oil dealers and other gasoline retailers; and the SuperStop Coop, which establishes relationships with vendors to provide products and services to Coulson dealers at negotiated prices.