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    Jacksons Acquires 100-Store Cummings Chain

    Most sites will continue to operate under current Chevron or Union 76 banners.

    BOISE, Idaho -- Jacksons recently acquired the 100-store network of Cummings Oil in an effort to serve a broader western community. Cummings, a 105-year old company based in Albany Ore., was recently named Oregon Business magazine's 33rd largest privately held company. Its annual sales averaged between $350 million and $400 million.

    "Cummings Oil is a well respected company with a loyal customer base. Their locations, operations and reputation fit perfectly with Jacksons' customer-centric principles," said John D. Jackson, CEO.

    Jacksons also bought the company's commercial fuel and lube segment, but quickly sold it to Carson Oil of Portland, Ore. Cummings president Rick Mikesell told the Albany Democrat-Herald earlier this week that he would continue to operate the company's Cummings Transfer, a moving services company founded in 1901.

    Of the sites acquired from Cummings, eight will feature the Jacksons brand name, while the remainder will continue serving customers under their current Chevron or Union 76 brand. Almost all of the company's employees will be retained through the acquisition and will keep their jobs with Jacksons, Carson Oil or Cummings Transfer, according to Mikesell.

    With profit margins at less than 1 percent, "It's a really tough industry," Mikesell told he paper. "We went through a stretch of tough years from 1999 to 2002, it was touch and go," he added. "We made some big acquisitions of Chevron stations in Salem and Eugene and turned the corner. I felt we were at the top of our market."

    To remain competitive, Mikesell told the Albany Democrat-Herald that the company would need to expand outside of Oregon. "I've got four kids and I want to spend more time with them, not less," he said.

    "In our industry, you either continue to grow your business or sell out. This acquisition provides our employees the opportunity to grow along with their company," Jackson added. "On the negative side, this makes me as scared as the day I opened my first store."

    The acquisition solidifies Jacksons, which includes Jacksons Oil, Jacksons Food Stores and Capitol Distributing, as one of the largest marketers in the west with over $1 billion in annual sales.

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