Last Call for McCollister and Co.


Agricultural supplier Growmark Inc. said last week that it has acquired independent lubricant blender McCollister and Co. for an undisclosed amount. The transactioncloses a chapter for the Council Bluffs, Iowa, company, which was founded by the McCollister family 76 years ago.

In a July 25 announcement, Growmark said it made the purchase because it wanted to expand in the lubricants market. The Bloomington, Illinois-based farm cooperative has annual sales of more than $3 billion, and its operations include refining and sales of fuel and lubricants. McCollister is much smaller in terms of overall revenue, but officials confirmed that its lubricants business is much bigger than Growmarks.

This acquisition will help strengthen and expand our continued growth in the lubricant business, Growmark Chief Executive Officer Bill Davisson said. In addition to adding the Archer and United product lines, this will help expand our FS branded products and our current customer base. McCollister markets lubricants under the Archer and United brands, while FS is the brand that Growmark uses for fuels and lubes.

In addition to the brands, accounts and inventory, the transaction includes McCollisters headquarters and plant in Council Bluffs. Growmark said it will transfer its lubes business to those facilities, under the direction of Lubricants Business Manager Craig L. Stout.

John S. and Stephen J. McCollister, who held posts of president and executive vice president, respectively, will remain on as consultants for an undetermined period of time. John S. McCollister said the family decided to sell partly because he and Stephen, his brother, are contemplating retirement.

We didnt have a clear succession plan in place, so this seemed like the way to go, he told Lube Report.

McCollister and Co. was founded in 1929 by John M. McCollister, grandfather of John S. and Stephen McCollister. The founder later turned the reins over to sons John Y., Howard and Paul.

When the deal closed last week, the company employed 75 people and blended agricultural and industrial lubricants, as well as heavy-duty motor oils. In addition to the products sold under its own brands, it blends lubes for private-label sales.

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