Antitrust Law Daily FTC requires divestitures to clear deal between fuel outlet operators
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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

FTC requires divestitures to clear deal between fuel outlet operators

By Jeffrey May, J.D.

Agency alleges potential harm to competition in local Tennessee markets for retail sale of gasoline and diesel fuel from Tri Star’s proposed acquisition of Hollingsworth retail fuel assets.

In order for Tri Star Energy, LLC to proceed with its proposed acquisition of retail fuel assets from Ronald L. Hollingsworth, an individual who controls both Hollingsworth Oil Company, Inc. and C & H Properties, the FTC will require the parties to divest to Cox Oil Company, Inc. retail fuel assets in two local markets in Tennessee. The two local markets are Whites Creek, Tennessee, and Greenbrier, Tennessee. In addition to the outlet divestitures, the FTC announced that the parties have agreed to notify the Commission before re-acquiring the divested outlets for ten years because such a deal would likely fall below the Hart-Scott-Rodino or HSR Act premerger notification thresholds (In the Matter of Tri Star Energy, LLC, FTC Dkt. C-4720, File No. 201-0074).

Tri Star, headquartered in Nashville, owns and operates 89 convenience stores with attached retail fuel outlets mostly in Tennessee. Tri Star’s convenience stores operate under the Twice Daily, Hightail, and t-Fuel names. Its retail fuel outlets sell under a variety of third-party branded and unbranded fuel banners. Tri Star also supplies fuel to a network of 285 dealer locations.

Hollingsworth operates a network of 54 convenience stores under the Sudden Service name with attached retail fuel outlets throughout middle Tennessee. Hollingsworth provides a variety of third-party branded and unbranded fuels at its Sudden Service outlets and to 172 wholesale fuel locations, according to the FTC.

Attorneys: Ashley Masters for FTC. James H. Nixon III (Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP) for Tri Star Energy, LLC. Van M. Jolas (Locke Lord LLP) for Ronald L. Hollingsworth, Hollingsworth Oil Company, Inc., and C & H Properties.

Companies: Tri Star Energy, LLC; Hollingsworth Oil Company, Inc. C& H Properties; Cox Oil Company, Inc.

MainStory: TopStory Antitrust AcquisitionsMergers FederalTradeCommissionNews GCNNews

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