Coulson Oil Starts Coulson Real Estate Group

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Aug. 1, 2011 6:55 am  

Coulson Oil Co., one of the region's largest independent distributors of motor fuels, has formed a new real estate company, company Chairman Mike Coulson said Monday.

The corporate entity is called Coulson Real Estate Group LLC. Eddie Martin, senior vice president and general counsel at Coulson Oil, has been named president of the new real estate group.

"Real estate has always played a large role in the growth and operation of our company. In fact, one of the reasons our founder, Ray Coulson, started the company was due to his passion for real estate," Coulson said in a news release. "The board of directors and I felt that by the formation of Coulson Real Estate Group, we can place increased focus on the acquisition and development of current and future holdings."

The company has a real estate portfolio of properties throughout Arkansas. Coulson Real Estate Group will be charged with building the value of the company's holdings, as well as taking on the responsibility of the management, development and financing of present and new real estate acquisitions.

The company's first real estate efforts were targeted at the purchase of property for new retail motor fuel outlets. About 100 of the company's current property holdings are used for convenience store operations. But the company said that with changes seen in the fueling and convenience stores industries over the past few decades, "it has become more important than ever to ensure that these properties are being used to their best advantage."

"What we are seeing now is that some of our holdings may have a better use than serving as a [convenience store] location," Martin said. "We will be looking at the possibility of selling some properties to Coulson Oil dealers, while facilities at other locations we hold may be rebuilt to meet state-of-the-art convenience store standards.

"Our plan is to look at all our properties and determine what is in the best interest for the company, dealers and ultimately, our c-store customers."

Martin said immediate plans for Coulson Real Estate Group include the sale of several existing properties. The new company will also be looking at the possibility of rebuilding current stores.

Long term, Coulson Real Estate Group said it will be trying to diversify its holdings to include non-gas real estate properties in an effort to rebalance its portfolio by property type, investment size and risk profile. The company will also look to buy new properties outside Arkansas.



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