Allied Washoe buyer expanding aggressively in West |

Allied Washoe buyer expanding aggressively in West

Rob Sabo

Flyers Energy took another step to increase its footprint in northern Nevada when it acquired the assets of Allied Washoe Petroleum a few days ago.

It’s the second strategic acquisition in northern Nevada for Flyers, which is headquartered at Auburn, Calif. Five years ago Flyers Energy acquired the northern Nevada assets of Berry-Hinckley Industries. Those assets included seven of the large fuel tanks at the Sparks Solvent Fuel Site terminal on Nugget Avenue, about 40 fuel and heating oil delivery trucks, and the CFN cardlock fueling services in the region.

Allied Washoe also has cardlock and bulk-plant fuel operations. Its terminals in Hawthorne, Minden and Winnemucca sell fuel and lubricating oils to smaller trucks that in turn support farming and mining operations and commercial customers in rural communities.

Walt Dwelle, managing partner of Flyers Energy, says the acquisition of Allied Washoe increases the company’s position in northern Nevada, and Allied’s operations dovetail nicely with Flyer’s existing business in the state.

“Allied Washoe has been in the market for long time and has got a strong customer base that now ties into ours and improves our volume,” Dwelle says. “We will get better utilization from the terminals and throughput of product into the market.

“It is a relatively small tie-in for us, but it was just a great fit.”

The majority of Allied Washoe Petroleum’s workforce of just under 30 people will remain in place, Dwelle says. Mike Cox, Allied Washoe’s chief executive officer, also is expected to remain in a management role with Flyers Energy.

Slim profit margins in the fuel delivery and sales business make it hard for small independent firms to be competitive — one of the main reasons Allied Washoe sold to Flyers, Cox says.

“We felt it was in the best interest of our customers, our employees and our shareholders to align with a company that was better positioned to care for our customers into the future, and no one is better suited to do that than Flyers. They made the process very easy, offered an attractive price and flexible structure, and are providing enhanced career opportunities to most of our employees.”

Cox, who joined Allied Washoe in 2005, had been the majority shareholder in Allied Washoe.

Allied Washoe traced its roots to a wood-and-coal outfit in the early 1900s. Purchased by the Madsen family, its longtime owners, in 1912, the company added petroleum products to its offerings only in the late 1930s. It continued to sell coal to business and residential customers from its headquarters even into the 21st Century.

Flyers has begun an aggressive expansion strategy and expects to make other strategic acquisitions or takeovers in the coming year. It hired a mergers and acquisition firm from Sacramento to help it put out solicitations to fuel companies in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah and Arizona.

“We want to grow in areas that make sense for us,” Dwelle says. “Over the next three years we want to increase our overall business by about 40 percent.”

Flyers currently has operations in California and Nevada and has just under 500 employees.