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Fast-Lube Sales Headed to $8.7 Billion

The number of U.S. fast lubes stands at 16,005, down 711 stores from a year ago, according to National Oil & Lube News 2012 Tops in the Industry Ranking. Lubbock, Texas-based NOLN published its annual survey of the fast-lube chains and other oil change providers in March, estimating industry sales in the U.S. will reach $8.7 billion this year.

The 55 fast-lube chains ranked on this years list together operate 6,791 facilities. Jiffy Lube topped the list with 1,935 stores, followed by Valvoline Instant Oil Change (823 stores); Pennzoil 10-Minute Oil Change (750); Kwik Kar (392); and Havoline Xpress Lube (350).

Walmart Tire & Lube Express, considered an oil change-plus chain because activities other than oil changes generate most of their revenues, led all oil-change lists with 2,500 U.S. stores. Filling out the top five in this category were Goodyear Tire & Service Network Outlets, Firestone Complete Auto Care, Midas Auto Service Experts, and TBC Retail Group.

The complete study is available to NOLN nonsubscribers for $75. To order, e-mail or visit survey_purchase.php.

New Owner for Milacron

Private-equity firm CCMP Capital Advisors will acquire Milacron from Avenue Capital Group for an undisclosed amount. Milacrons Cimcool industrial fluids segment supplies metalworking and industrial fluids. The transaction is expected to close during this quarter. Milacrons management team will continue with the company, which will remain headquartered in Cincinnati. We believe Milacron is very well positioned to continue growing around the world and particularly in North America and emerging markets, said Tim Walsh, managing director at CCMP.

With renewed financial stability and CCMPs support, we expect to continue to expand our market share, extend our global reach and invest in technologies to meet our customers needs around the world over the long term, Milacron CEO Dennis Smith said.

LSC Buys Wynns Old Site

Blender and packager Lubricating Specialties Co. has acquired Wynn Oil Co.s plant in Azusa, Calif., from Parker Hannifin for an undisclosed amount, and plans to upgrade it. According to a statement LSC provided to customers, the facility will be significantly renovated and upgraded, with additions to include blending and packaging of automotive aftermarket products for oil, fuel, transmission, power steering, differential and cooling systems, in a variety of packaging styles.

LSC currently operates manufacturing facilities in Pico Rivera and Vernon, Calif. In an October letter to the City of Azusas city planner, LSC outlined its plans for the site, although the property had not been acquired at that point.

Illinois Tool Works acquired the Wynns additives brand in 2005 from Parker Hannifin, and later moved its production to other locations. Parker kept the Wynn Oil Co. name and the Azusa plant, but closed the plant in early 2011.

Briefly Noted

Crown Oil, a U.K. supplier of lubricants and fuel, was named an authorized distributor of advanced lubricants from Q8Oils. The company will supply a complete range of the Q8Oils branded cutting and cooling fluids, lubricants and greases to complement its own range of lubricants manufactured at Crowns blending plant in Bury, Lancashire.

Great Lakes Quick Lube LP, a Valvoline Instant Oil Change franchisee with 64 locations in six Midwestern states, filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition April 2 in Wisconsin.

McCullough & Associates Distributors will distribute Vertellus Specialties castor oil, castor oil polyols and derivatives in seven southeastern U.S. states.

German lubricant producer Rowe Mineraloelwerk GmbH is building a second blending plant to accommodate the growth of its business. The $53.3 million facility, scheduled to open next year in Worms, Germany, will have capaci-ty to make 120,000 metric tons per year, twice that of its existing plant in Bubenheim.

Indorama Ventures PCL of Thailand closed on the $795 million acquisition of Old World Industries chemicals business, including an ethylene oxide/ethylene glycol manufacturing facility in Texas.

The lubricants arm of energy giant Gazprom will produce marine oils in Russia for U.S. oil major Chevron. Using base oils from its Omsk refinery, Gazprom Neft-SM will blend and market Texaco-branded marine oils including hydraulic, compressor and turbine oils, as well as cooling fluids and marine greases.

Sonneborn Changes Hands

One Equity Partners has acquired white oils producer Sonneborn from Sun Capital Partners for an undisclosed sum. Sonneborn supplies white oils, petrolatums, waxes and other specialties, and has plants in Petrolia, Pa., and the Netherlands. New York City-based One Equity Partners and Sun Capital Partners of Boca Raton, Fla., are both private investment firms.

The transaction is a pivotal point in Sonneborns history, said Sonneborn CEO Bob Muller. With [One Equity Partners] significant capital injection, the company is well posi-tioned for future growth. Sun Capital acquired the Parsippany, N.J.-based business from Crompton Corp. (now Chemtura) in 2005 for $80 million, and dubbed it Sonneborn, reviving an identity it had used 50 years earlier. In 2010, Sonneborn acquired Chemturas sodium sulfonate and oxidized petrolatum businesses as well.

Quebec Plant Inaugurated

As this issue goes to press, family-owned Groupe Crevier is preparing to inaugurate its new 62,000-sq.-ft. lubricants blending plant in Canada. Pierre Crevier, president of Petroles Crevier, and Guy Desaulniers, general manager of Saint-Laurent Lubricants, said the new facility in Longueuil, Quebec, is one of the largest industrial and commercial lubricant plants in the province.

Groupe Crevier was founded more than 60 years ago, and boasts that its lubricants division is one of few local companies certified to design, manufacture and distribute lubricant products. The inauguration is slated for April 19, in Longueuil and will be attended by government officials and other industry representatives.

BASF: More Oxidized Waxes Coming

To meet growing demand from the global plastics industry for processing aids and lubricants, BASF has commissioned a new oxidized polyethylene waxes manufacturing plant at its Ludwigshafen site in Germany. BASF will supply the products under the Luwax brand name. The low-density polyethylene wax that forms the basis of the oxidized waxes comes directly from the sites polymerization plants.

As lubricants in the processing of plastics, oxidized polyethylene waxes are used in many different applications, for example in the manufacturing of PVC profiles, pipes, fittings, sheets and many more, explained BASF spokeswoman Ruth Wirschem.

Feds Target Lube Exports

The U.S. Department of Commerce in March ordered a temporary halt to exports by Delfin Group USA, alleging that the company violated an embargo by supplying lubricants and/or lubricant additives to Iran. The Feb. 25 order contended that Delfin conspired to send products to Iran by way of the United Arab Emirates.

Delfin, which is based in North Charleston, S.C., acknowledged that one of its shipments unintentionally ended up in Iran, but denied violating the embargo to the extent that the government alleges, saying a customer had reshipped the materials to Iran. Delfin Group USA, part of Moscow-based Delfin Group Russia, manufactures automotive and industrial lubricants and also toll blends and packages lubes for others.

Move Coming at Lubrodol

Fuchs Lubricants will move its Lubrodol forging lubricants division from Pennsylvania to the companys U.S. corporate headquarters in Harvey, Ill., giving it more room to grow. The shift provides an opportunity for future capacity expansion and the building of a state of the art facility, Fuchs Lubricants vice president Mark Howe told Lube Report. The transfer will be complete by second-quarter 2013.

Lubrodol has been in Emlenton, Pa., since 1988, and Fuchs said it hopes to see many of its employees make the move as well. Lubrodol makes lubricants for hot and warm forging, aluminum forging, aerospace forging and other specialties.

Kimes, Peterson Merge

Two Pittsburgh-area sulfonates marketers, Kimes Technologies International and Peterson Industries, have merged under the Kimes name with the goal of extending their global reach. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Peterson Industries customers will gain access to a much expanded product line, technical, laboratory, and general internal support, Julie Kimes, Kimes president and CEO said. Kimes gains access to internation-al sales, a wider geographical coverage, and Jeff Petersons expertise in international markets.

Peterson Industries operated as an international broker of domestically sourced lubricant components, with all sales outside the United States. Jeff Peterson, an attorney and son of Peterson Industries founder, has become Kimes Technolo gies general counsel and its director of international business.

Forum to Address In-service Fluids

Asymposium on Viscosity and Rheology of In-Service Fluids as They Pertain to Condition Monitoring comes June 27 to San Francisco, in tandem with ASTM Internationals Committee D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants meeting. The event includes presentations related to current research and practices relating to viscosity/rheology of in-service fluids, and discussion of the impact of ASTM standards on condition monitoring and associated businesses. Future trends and potential new standards for viscosity and rheology will also be discussed.

Online registration is available until June 20 at, with no fee to attend the workshop for ASTM members, presenters and students. The fee for non-members is $50 online and $75 on site.

MWV Names Two Distributors

MWV Specialty Chemicals, a division of MeadWestvaco Corp., has selected Colonial Specialty Chemical in Tabernacle, N.J., and S&S Chemical, Northport, N.Y., as its exclusive metalworking distributors for the North American market. Colonial is responsible now for sales of MWV products to metalworking and lubricants customers in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New England, Virginia and Northern Ohio, while S&S manages sales in Illinois, New York, Wisconsin, Missouri, Minnesota, Iowa and southern Ohio.

The products include Diacid and Tenax tall oil fatty acid esters and other materials, said MWVs Kim Meidl. Both companies are recognized experts in the marketplace, providing a hands-on service model to assist customers in the formulation of the products they need to grow their businesses, she added.

Faces in the News

Robert Kress has become vice president of Chemlube International in Harrison, N.Y., where hell concentrate on expanding its domestic base oils and finished lubes business. Formerly with Lubricating Specialties Co., Kress has over 30 years of experience in the lubricants and grease industry, including with Coastal Corp. and Citgo, and is active NLGI and ILMA, among other groups.

Metalworking and industrial lube manufacturer Wallover Oil has named Erik Ross its Northeastern regional sales manager. Ross has 13 years of experience in industrial sales, where he focused on lubricants and mechanical fabrication and repair.

Ute Knopp has been appointed head of marketing, EMEA, for Rhein Chemie in Mannheim, Germany, and will be responsible for consistent marketing throughout the region. Also, Birgit Johe joined the companys lube oil additives team as global product manager for its new water-miscible additives line, and Detlef Pazdzior has rejoined the company as technical sales representative for Germany, Austria, Switzerland and southeastern Europe.

Tim Langlois has joined Additives International as its sales manager. He brings over 20 years experience in technical sales to the Flint, Mich.-based business, which makes metalworking processing and metal protection additives including sulfonates, rust preventives, oxidates and other specialties.

Bulk lubricants supplier North American Lubricants has added two new distributor sales managers to its team. Gary McDonough, who has three decades of experience in the automotive aftermarket, including with Castrol and Omni Industries, will head the Gulf Coast region. Jonathan Strong, another industry veteran who for the past five years was a territory manager and PCMO specialist with BP, will manage the New England territory.

George E. Daudlin Sr.

George E. Daudlin Sr., founder of Wolverine Oil & Supply Co., died March 18 at 87. A native of Detroit, Daudlin served with the U.S. Air Force flying B-24s in the Pacific during World War II. He established Wolverine Oil in 1968, running it with his sons until his retirement. The family-owned independent blender grew to include two lubricant manufacturing plants and a distribution center, all in Michigan. An longtime member of SAE, ILMA and local civic groups, he was predeceased by his wife Violet. Survivors include two brothers and three sisters, five sons, two daughters and 16 grandchildren.

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