Cool Corp

Shell Jamaica Assets Sold

Private equity firm, Blue Equity LLC, on Tuesday acquired control of Cool Petroleum Holdings Limited which operates the Shell gas station and oil distributorship in Jamaica.

It means that Cool Petroleum, formerly part of the Cool Corporation group of 22 companies, will now become part of Blue Equity’s large investment portfolio.

Businessman Joey Issa and conglomerate Neal & Massy Holdings will relinquish their stake to Blue Equity, according to Jonathan Blue, the chairman and managing director of Blue Equity, who spoke to Wednesday Business from his Louisville, Kentucky, office.

The deal, however, does not affect Issa’s ownership of the Cool Corporation, which also runs the Cool Oasis national network of 25 gas stations.

“It’s not a part of the transaction,” Blue said. He adds that Blue Equity has full control of the board.

Blue declined to reveal the cost of acquisition based on non-disclosure agreements, but revealed that Cool Petroleum revenues were estimated to increase 12 per cent to US$370 million in 2011.

Blue said the Shell brand will remain.

“Blue Equity now has full legal controlling interest in Cool Petroleum,” Blue said, adding that the board has already changed to reflect new ownership. “Joey will have only a passive say, we have full voting power and we bought out Neal and Massy.”

Blue Equity’s portfolio interests in the Caribbean already includes Island Ice & Beverage Company Limited (IIBC), which manufactures and distributes packaged ice and various beverages in the Caribbean, including 750 locations in Jamaica through retail and wholesale channels.

IIBC operates industrial manufacturing facilities in Kingston and Montego Bay, Jamaica, from which it supplies a diversified group of customers, including hotels, supermarkets, gas stations, pharmacies, agro-processors, nightclubs, sporting facilities and the maritime industry.

Cool Petroleum, the licensed user of Shell brands in Jamaica, is an integrated downstream petroleum products businessoperating in the captive Jamaican market.

Cool Petroleum is the exclusive distributor of Shell bulk fuels, Shell chemicals and Shell lubricants in Jamaica. It is the largest fuel retailer by volume in Jamaica and operates an extensive network of more than 50 Shell service stations.

Cool Petroleum also markets to companies that benefit from purchasing fuel, lubricants and chemicals in bulk for commercial fleets or heavy machinery.

“In particular, we are looking forward to owning an islandwide retail network of service stations operating under the Shell brand, one of the greatest brands in the world. Most importantly, we are very excited to be a part of one of the leading companies in the country of Jamaica,” said Blue.

DIVESTING INTEREST
In 2005, the Shell Corporation decided to divest its interests in the Caribbean to Cool, which then became the largest fuel retailer in Jamaica with more than 90 locations, including Cool Oasis.

Blue will assume the role of chairman and chief executive officer of Cool Petroleum. The senior executive team will also include Steve Whittingham, who brought the parties together for the transaction.

“The Cool Group of companies is pleased to welcome our new partners to Jamaica. We are grateful for the five-year partnership we enjoyed with Neal and Massy. I am proud of what we have accomplished and we now look forward to working with Blue Equity to take Cool Petroleum to the next level,” said Issa, chairman of Cool Corporation, in a media release.

Blue Equity is an independent, private equity firm whose investment portfolio includes oil and gas, media, distribution, health care, art, commerce, defence, financial services, and real estate assets.

Source: Jamaica Gleaner