Lube Distributor a Tasty Target


Private equity firm KRG Capital Partners on Monday said it completed the acquisition of Tri-County Petroleum Inc., aPennsylvania-based distributor of industrial and commercial lubricants. Terms were not disclosed. KRG said Tri-Countys market is ripe for continued consolidation among lubricants distributors.

KRG said its investment in Tri-County will support continued organic and acquisitive growth of the company. Tri-County will continue to be managed by president Robert Black and general manager Gregory Black. KRG managing directors Stew Fischer and Ted Nark, who each have experience in distribution, will focus on Tri-County,KRGs first acquisition in the lubricants industry.

According to Nark, Tri-Countys current owners – the Black family and additional investors in the Brumbaugh family – will continue to be shareholders of the company. Theyve sold the majority stake, but all the existing investors will continue to be investors going forward, Nark told Lube Report.

Nark said KRG researched Tri-County extensively before the acquisition. We did a lot of work surveying customers, and pretty much uniformly customers rave about the company, he said. Weve met with their major suppliers, and they have very strong supplier relationships.

Tri-County and KRG believe that the markets in which the company operates will continue to consolidate, Denver-based KRG said in its announcement.

We think this is an industry with a lot of good, family-run companies, and its still a pretty fragmented industry, Nark said. In most distribution industries, scale matters. We think theres an opportunity to build something even stronger and better over time.

He said the initial goal is to grow Tri-County in its current footprint and contiguous areas. Over time we would expect to grow in other regions as well, he said.

Based in Riddlesburg, Pa., Tri-County serves more than 2,500 customers in a variety of industries, including original equipment manufacturers, off-highway construction, food processing, surface mining and metalworking industries. The distributor serves the mid-Atlantic region, including Pennsylvania, Maryland, northern Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware southern New York and eastern Ohio.It distributesautomotive lubricants and greases, antifreezes, metalworking fluids, industrial oils, aviation lubricants and greases, industrial greases, and food grade lubricants. It also distributes chemicals such as solvents, degreasers and phosphates.

Tri-County provides customers bulk and mini-bulk lubricant products as well as packaged lubricant products. The companys services include customized on-site tank systems, filtration, expert oil analysis, application engineering expertise, and coolant program expertise.

Tri-County distributes lubricant brands that include ExxonMobil, Castrol, ConocoPhillips, Power Service Products and Texaco. It also distributes Jax brand food grade industrial lubricants. These are in addition to house branded lubricants under the Tri-County Petroleum name.

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