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FOREST, Va. — There will be no summer vacation for industry newcomer Fuel USA LLC.
Fresh on the heels of making its first move into the convenience channel with the acquisition of Workman Oil Co., Fuel USA is already eyeing several other opportunities, according to President Jeffrey D. Dykstra.
"Outside of our current Virginia/Kentucky footprint, we are looking at larger deals that will support a regional operation and in our existing markets, we are looking at deals of all sizes using the new Fuel USA operating platform," he told CSNews Online.
Fuel USA created a footprint last week when it took title to all the assets of Forest-based Workman Oil, including 52 convenience stores that operate primarily under the Apple Market banner.
"We are looking to solidify our current acquisition as quickly as possible, but the mandate from our investors is to grow the business," Dykstra explained.
That growth will include expanding Apple Market's reach as a brand. "We have no plans whatsoever to change the Apple Market brand," he said. "Based on what we have seen thus far, the brand has a very loyal, strong following in its local markets. We hope to grow the brand in contiguous markets to the current locations."
Although the Workman Oil deal introduced Fuel USA as a company, Dykstra is not new to the c-store scene. His background includes extensive experience in the retail financing arena. In fact, his present position is as president of CNG Capital LLC, a net-lease real estate investment firm specializing in sale-leaseback transactions and portfolio acquisitions of branded multi-unit retail properties with a specific focus on the convenience store and gas station industry.
"Fuel USA was created as an acquisition vehicle for the c-store industry. It's the industry I know best as I have worked exclusively in this space for 20 years as a lender, investor and advisor," he told CSNews Online.
Based on his experience, CSNews Online also asked Dykstra what makes the c-store arena so attractive.
"From the standpoint of comparing it to other industries, we like it because it has many recession-resistant qualities. From an investing standpoint, we like it because it's a big enough industry to be relevant to many capital providers, but complex enough in its operating and ownership structure that institutional investors have not been able to easily dominate the space," he explained.