Schmuckal Oil Co. and True North Energy logos

Schmuckal Oil Co. Sells Business to True North Energy

True North is celebrating 100 years

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Twenty-five convenience stores in northern Michigan are changing portfolios.

The switch-up follows Schmuckal Oil Co.'s sale of its c-store and gas stations locations to True North Energy LLC. The deal also includes Schmuckal Oil's small wholesaler fuel and transportation businesses, according to Matrix Capital Markets Group Inc.

Matrix advised Traverse City-based Schmuckal Oil on the transaction.

Schmuckal Oil dates back to 1955 when Art Schmuckal and George Slane developed a partnership to supply fuel to service stations in and around Traverse City. The company transitioned from a wholesale supplier to a c-store retailer in northern Michigan under the direction of Paul Schmuckal in the 1980s.

Schmuckal Oil became a multi-branded fuels company through the acquisition of several Marathon stores in 2000. It has also been recognized as one of the best Shell operators in the country. 

"Our board of directors, executive management team, and Schmuckal family members explored many options before selecting Matrix to run a structured process and guide us through the sale of the family business," said Kevin Severt, CEO of Schmuckal Oil. "While it is emotional and challenging to sell a business, we felt the time was right for the family to find another company with the culture of a 'family-owned and -operated' business to take our operation into the future."

Brecksville, Ohio-based True North Energy was founded in 1999, through a 50/50 partnership between The Lyden Family, which was established in 1919, and Shell Oil US. In addition to its True North branded c-stores, it supplies fuel to its approximately 200 dealers.

Matrix provided merger and acquisition advisory services to Schmuckal, which included valuation advisory, marketing the business through a confidential, structured sale process, and negotiation of the sale and lease transactions.

"Matrix provided a high-level of professionalism and ran a very productive process that helped us accomplish our goal," Severt said, adding the company is "excited for our customers, employees, and shareholders to be selling our business to True North Energy."

The transaction was managed by Spencer Cavalier, co-head of Matrix's Downstream Energy & Convenience Retail Group; Andrew LoPresti, vice president; and Martin McElroy, senior analyst.

"The Schmuckal family, led by Paul Schmuckal, built one of Michigan's most successful petroleum marketing and convenience retailing companies, with the core of its retail operation clustered in the highly coveted Traverse City area," Cavalier said. "Matrix is honored to have advised the shareholders and have enjoyed working closely with Paul and [Severt] to successfully close this transaction."

Tammera Diehm of Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. served as legal counsel for Schmuckal.