Diamond Gasoline sells 20 stations
By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
A rumor that has swirled around Escambia County and beyond for the past several weeks — that Diamond Gasoline of Atmore had sold its South Alabama convenience store-gas stations — is a rumor no more.
Officials of Vernon, Ala.-based Midstates Petroleum confirmed this weekend that the company has purchased 20 Diamond Gasoline outlets in South Alabama and Northwest Florida. The changeover became effective June 13.
Atmore City Clerk Becca Smith said the deal hit a snag in late May or early June when Midstates officials tried to have alcoholic beverage licenses transferred, which cannot be done under Alabama law.
Smith said the company has since gotten an extension from the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board that allowed the deal to go through, even though alcoholic beverage licenses are still pending. Midstates has reportedly purchased all the necessary city business licenses.
The transaction reportedly includes all four Diamond stores in Atmore (South Main Street, East Nashville Avenue, Howard Street and Ala. 21 at Interstate 65) as well as its four Brewton stores (including Yellow Hammer on Ala. 113), one store each in Perdido and Monroeville, and one in Gulf Shores.
At least two Diamond stores in Florida — one in Pensacola and one in Pace — were also part of the deal.
Ric Mayers, Chief Operations Officer for Midstates Petroleum, said in a press release the newly purchased convenience store-gas stations account collectively for the sale of 45 million gallons of gas and diesel each year.
Diamond Gasoline was founded in 1965 by Roy White Sr. and has been operated since his 1988 death by his sons, Roy Jr., Tommy and Mitch.
Midstates Petroleum, one of the largest Chevron petroleum refiners in the U.S., will now sell Shell gasoline (at the East Nashville store in Atmore). The company already markets Chevron, Texaco, Exxon, Citgo and Marathon petroleum products and, according to its website, is “currently Alabama’s premier petroleum distributor in the convenience store industry.”
Several current and former employees of Diamond Gasoline said they were told by company officials that Midstates will own the stores but will lease them to an unidentified local group that already operates several similar outlets.
A person who answered the phone at Midstates Petroleum Monday morning, July 3, said Mayers, who was recently married, was not in his office and could not be reached for comment. Diamond Gasoline offices were closed Monday, and Roy White Jr., company president, could not be reached for comment on the transaction.
Complete details of the transaction, including the total sales price, have not been disclosed.