Equity Firm Picks Up J.A.M.


Ridgemont Equity Partners last week acquired J.A.M. Distributing Co., which supplies ExxonMobil, Phillips 66 and other base stocks and lubricants. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jack Purcell, a principal with Charlotte, N.C.-based Ridgemont, said it has looked at and invested in a number of industrial distribution companies over the years.

The lube oil space in particular is an area weve been focused on, Purcell told Lube Report. Weve actually looked at a number of lube oil distributors over a five or six year period. So when we came across this J.A.M. investment opportunity, it was an area we had a good perspective on, and it was a company we really liked.

J.A.M. is headquartered at its main terminal in Houston, with additional terminal operations in Dallas, Beaumont, Lufkin, Clute and Galveston, all in Texas. It services the industrial, commercial vehicle, passenger vehicle and marine end markets. In addition to lubes and base stocks, it distributes fuel and ancillary products.

We think those particular markets, from an organic growth potential, are very strong, Purcell said. If you look at what happened in those markets during the downturn, and then now that the economys doing better, they tended to outperform other markets. We have looked at other lube oil distributors that operate in different parts of the country.

J.A.M. has been a lubricant distributor of ExxonMobil products for more than 40 years. We sell ExxonMobil products today, and we like that partnership, Purcell said. The customer relationships J.A.M. has built over time are really strong, and theyve got a good position in their market. They have a fantastic reputation for high quality in safety and service.

He said J.A.M. has a strong and dedicated senior leadership team, and the plan is to keep the team in its current roles, aside from company founder and CEO Johnny Maniscalco, who is retiring. As part of this transaction, we will look to bring in a new CEO, Purcell said. We recognize Johnnys shoes are pretty big shoes to fill, so this is an important hire for the company, so were taking our time in making sure we find the right person to lead the organization.

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