Universal Express to buy New Jersey oil, gas distributor for $42M

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Universal Express announced today, Oct. 9, the signing of a formal contract to purchase the assets of a New Jersey-based gasoline and oil operator for $42 million. The unnamed wholesaler owns and operates in excess of 38 retail gasoline and diesel oil stations, according to Universal.

“In addition to the obvious positive impact on our balance sheet, this acquisition keys nicely with our transportation logistics model,” says Richard A. Altomare, president and chief executive officer of Universal Express, based in Boca Raton, Fla., and New York. “Virtually every facet of our businesses relies on the price, availability and delivery of fuel, whether it is our luggage division, our trucking component, our aviation company or our courier network. It is my hope that we can affect a reconfigured and even better business model and possible re-branding for these stations in the years to come.”

Altomare says the agreement calls for the retention of the company’s current management, as well as payment over a 14-month period. “In addition to the symbiosis that this company has with our core businesses and additional retail distribution, our growing nationwide presence is both complimented and augmented through this initial oil and gas acquisition,” Altomare says. “The estimated 5 percent earnings of this company, we believe, through our management and economy of scale can be increased. Our corporate awareness is as real and as valuable to us as our many strategic partners, our loyal employees, and our steadfast vision of a changing transportation logistical industry. That awareness will also be enhanced by these 38 visible and retail locations which may in the future become multi-utilized.”

Future name changes for the oil and gas company are planned by Universal Express, says Chris Gunderson, the company’s general counsel. “Certainly, all of the obvious benefits of increased cash flow, extra revenues, enhanced balance sheet, inter-company synergies and continued corporate growth can be addressed,” Gunderson says. “However, I contend that the addition of the first oil and gas company matures this conglomerate in many other ways.”

Increased corporate capitalization and possible restructuring “is definitely under consideration, as we entertain all of our future options,” Altomare says.