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DU QUOIN, Ill. -- Du Quoin, Ill.-based Willi Oil Co. has been sold to an undisclosed Morton Grove corporation, reported the Du Quoin Evening Call. The sale of Willi Oil Co., which owns 16 stores, has been rumored for weeks and there is still no formal announcement until the new owner arrives in Du Quoin this week.
The newspaper has been making ongoing inquiries for the past several weeks, but fully understands that such negotiations are long and complicated and no one wanted to compromise work on the final agreement. Even at this writing, a confidentiality clause apparently curtails discussion until both parties can prepare a mutual announcement, the newspaper reported.
Yet, the sale became obvious last week when customers of the Du Quoin locations stopped writing checks to Willi Oil Co. and started writing checks to new entities like, "Main Street Shell."
The newspaper understands that all of the assets of the Willi Oil Co. -- including gas stations with foodmarts in Du Quoin, West Frankfort, Benton-West City, Herrin, Johnston City, and alongside John A. Logan College in Carterville -- and a distribution that feeds not only Willi Oil Co., but 10 other Shell locations are included in the sale.
Employees of the company tell the newspaper that new owners have named a local supervisor, and most of the staff will remain in place and the Willi family will help through the transition period.
The locations will operate largely as they have in the past, providing Shell products and convenience to longtime customers, according to the newspaper.