Cox Oil, a 54-Site Operator, Acquired by Tri Star Energy

The deal involves the Little General and Maverick Quick Shop banners.

April 20, 2023

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Tri Star Energy, LLC, has purchased Cox Oil Company, Inc., which has 54 convenience stores located in Tennessee and Kentucky. The deal was announced by NRC Realty & Capital Advisors.

Cox Oil Company, headquartered in Union City, Tennessee, operates stores under the Little General Convenience Stores and Maverick Quick Shop brands. Of the 54 convenience stores owned by Cox Oil Company, 52 are company-operated and two are dealer-operated. Almost all of the stores offer one or more foodservice programs, primarily the company’s proprietary Clucker’s Tennessee Fried Chicken program.

Twenty-one of the stores sell fuel under the Marathon brand, 13 sell fuel under the Shell brand and 20 are unbranded.

“Cox Oil is a well-established company whose reputation and core values align nicely with ours. They have great locations, many in areas where we do not currently operate. Our combined companies will feature some of the best programs and operators in our region, allowing us to continue to grow and build the brand in the future,” said Steve Hostetter, CEO of Tri Star Energy.

Cox Oil Company was founded in 1970 by Michael E. Cox, who has had a passion for the gasoline industry over the span of 53 years. The family’s roots run deep in the fuel industry, beginning with the involvement of both Mr. Cox’s father and grandfather running a small fuel station in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. After Mr. Cox’s naval career ended honorably in 1970, he and his young family moved from his naval station in California back to Tennessee, where he found an opportunity to purchase three bankrupt gas station and convenience store sites in Memphis. Shortly thereafter, he began growing his store count and expanding his company footprint to the 54-store chain it is today.

Mark McBride, president and chief executive officer of Cox Oil Company, stated: “Although it was a difficult decision for Mr. Cox to decide to exit the industry he has loved for the past 53 years, all of us at the Company couldn’t be more pleased than to be able to turn our business over to our good friends at Tri Star Energy.”