New Brunswick

Irving Oil confirms deal signed to acquire Ireland-based Top Oil

Irving Oil has signed agreements to acquire an Ireland-based energy marketing and distribution group of companies, further expanding its reach across the Atlantic basin, the company confirmed on Tuesday.

Agreement, which follows purchase of Irish refinery in 2016, awaits approval of competition commission

Top Oil sells more than one billion litres of fuel annually throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland. (Twitter/Irving Oil)

Irving Oil has signed agreements to acquire an Ireland-based energy marketing and distribution group of companies, further expanding its reach across the Atlantic basin, the company confirmed on Tuesday.

The financial terms of the deal with Tedcastle, which operates under the brand name Top Oil, have not been disclosed.

The purchase comes on the heels of Irving Oil's 2016 takeover of Ireland's sole refinery, located in the village of Whitegate, near Cork.

Top Oil, based in Dublin, is a leading supplier of home heating oil, including kerosene, as well as petrol and diesel fuel in Ireland and recently expanded its operations into aviation fuel, according to Irving Oil.

"This is a great day for our company," Arthur Irving, chair of the Saint John-based oil refiner and gas retailer, said in the statement Tuesday, confirming that the deal reported on in June has been finalized.

"We are proud to be doing business in Ireland and are looking forward to working with everyone at Top Oil. We're excited about the future."

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission in Ireland still has to approve the acquisition.

If approved, Irving Oil plans to continue the full operation of Top Oil and its assets, according to the statement.

Will maintain staff, branding

It will maintain Top Oil's existing workforce, as well its branding, which includes the slogan, "Proud to be Irish."

Top Oil is a family-owned business, founded by Robert Tedcastle in 1800 to import and distribute coal in Dublin. It rebranded from Tedcastles Oil Products to Top in 1996.

The company now sells more than one billion litres of fuel a year to commercial and residential consumers in Ireland. It owns a fuel import terminal and a chain of 180 gas stations.

Top Oil's website makes no mention of the deal.

We are delighted to hand over the reins, on completion of these agreements, to another family company and are confident that the business will continue to grow and prosper.- Raymond Reihill, Tedcastle Holdings

"This is a very significant day for the extended family and our business in Ireland," deputy chair of Tedcastle Holdings Raymond Reihill said in the Irving Oil-issued statement.

"We are delighted to hand over the reins, on completion of these agreements, to another family company and are confident that the business will continue to grow and prosper," he said.

"We are looking forward to joining Irving Oil and continuing to grow and develop our business under its umbrella," Top Oil CEO Gerard Boylan said in the statement.

"We share a common commitment to our employees, customers and the wider community."

Irving Oil has been family-owned and operated since 1924. It serves wholesale, commercial and retail customers in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and New England with more than 900 fuelling locations, operations from 10 distribution terminals, and a delivery fleet of tractor-trailers.

It operates Canada's largest refinery, capable of producing more than 320,000 barrels per day.

The Whitegate refinery's output is less than a third of that, but it supplies about 40 per cent of Ireland's transport and heating fuel.

Built in 1959, it used to be owned by the state but was privatized in 2001 and sold to Houston-based energy, manufacturing and logistics company Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX), whose obligation to maintain the asset expired in July 2016. Irving Oil's takeover was announced on Aug. 3, 2016, and finalized a month later.

According to the Irish Examiner, Whitegate had been losing money at a rate of $58 million US in 2013 and $280 million US in 2014.

now