Littlejohn takes over fuel transporter

Littlejohn & Co. has inked a deal to buy fuel transport company Kenan Advantage Group.

Littlejohn & Co., based in Greenwich, Connecticut, has agreed to acquire fuel transporter Kenan Advantage Group in a management buyout.

Fuel transporter Kenan Advantage will move into the Littlejohn & Co.  portfolio.

The Canton, Ohio-based Kenan is the No. 1 bulk transportation and logistics provider to the petroleum industry. The company serves the last link of the supply chain, transferring gas from the refineries and pipeline terminals to retail locations, such as gas stations and truck stops. Kenan generates annual revenues in excess of $450 million, and can reach customers throughout the continental US and Canada.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Littlejohn’s Web site indicates that the firm typically invests between $50 million and $100 million of equity per deal.

Littlejohn declined comment, although Michael Klein, the firm president, said in a statement that the company’s role as a market leader was important to the group. He noted, “Due to its leadership position, [Kenan] is uniquely positioned to service the strict requirements of its customer base and is a critical link in the nation’s energy distribution network.”

Kenan was formed when a partnership of Sterling Investment Partners and RFE Investment Partners led a deal to merge Advantage Management Group and Kenan Transport Company in 2001. Sterling and RFE had originally invested in Advantage in 1998.

Going forward, Littlejohn will move to expand the company’s national network through organic growth and with select acquisitions.

Littlejohn is currently investing out of its third fund, Littlejohn Fund III, which it closed this past summer, corralling $650 million in limited partner commitments.