29 Sep 2002

Maxol Group continues to expand with acquisition of Estuary

MAXOL GROUP CONTINUES TO EXPAND WITH ACQUISITION OF ESTUARY

Maxol, the leading Irish owned independent oil company, today announced that it has completed the acquisition of Estuary Fuel, the prominent Limerick-based oil company. The acquisition, which has been approved by An Tanaiste and Minster for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Harney, increases the McMullan owned Maxol Group’s turnover to over €600 million and annual oil sales volumes to in excess of one billion litres – making it one of the largest family owned businesses in the country.

This multimillion Euro acquisition is part of Maxol’s ongoing expansion strategy and brings the Maxol portfolio of authorised distributors to over 50, serving all parts of the island of Ireland, and increasing its service station network by 40 to 380. This acquisition follows its purchase of Connors Fuels, the leading home heating firm in Northern Ireland, in late 2000. In 1996, Maxol also acquired 80 Statoil and Jet filling stations and bought Ola Teoranta at an earlier stage.

Estuary has a turnover in excess of €80m and sells more than 200 million litres of oil annually, mainly through its network of 40 filling stations and 17 Authorised Distributors, which are mostly located in the West and South of the country. With a sea-fed terminal in Foynes, Estuary has grown rapidly in recent years due to a strong focus on expanding its sales of domestic, agricultural and industrial fuels (middle distillate products).
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The Estuary business is managed by Tim O’Donoghue (Managing Director), along with the Commercial Director, Gerry O’Mahony, and they will continue to run the firm following this acquisition. Maxol has indicated that it is its intention to continue to market under the Estuary brand name.

Commenting on the acquisition, Tom Noonan, CEO Maxol said: “This is another significant acquisition for the Maxol Group. Estuary complements our current business strategy and fulfils our long-standing objective to strengthen our presence on the western seaboard. As part of our overall growth strategy, Maxol is also working hard on enhancing our service stations throughout Ireland. We have invested in the region of €50 million in upgrading them since the mid ‘90’s and have, among other projects, developed a network of 70 Maxol forecourts containing Mace convenience stores that have positioned us as a major force in service station retailing.

Maxol is now well on the way to having the best balanced oil business on the island of Ireland with this and other recent acquisitions, laying down solid foundations for further growth.

Estuary is a well managed firm with a very strong customer base and its independent nature makes it a natural fit for us. We look forward to assisting it in expanding the range and quality of its customer services in the near future.

Tim O’Donoghue, MD of Estuary Fuels also added: "Maxol is the largest independent oil company in the country and, with over 80 years experience, it continues to be hungry for solid growth and higher standards. I have no doubt that this move will benefit everyone associated with the Estuary brand and I look forward to participating in combining the best of both companies into a formidable force for the future.”
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