Yocum Oil sold

Yocum Oil truck is parked by the company's headquarters on Stillwater Road in Maplewood (Linda Baumeister/Review)

Long-deliberated decision has led to the sale of Maplewood family business

Longtime Maplewood staple, Yocum Oil, has been sold.

Mansfield Energy Corporation, based out of Georgia, and Minnesota-based Lubrication Technologies Inc. announced Tuesday, May 6 they have acquired the commercial fuels, lubricants, and solutions businesses of the family-owned corporation.

The amount of the sale has not yet been disclosed to the public.

Tim Yocum, current CEO of Yocum Oil, is set to join the board of directors of the new ownership.

"We've seen some other people who were doing things like us, either on a national level or on the lubricant side of the business," he said in an interview last week. "When we evaluated what would be the best way to serve our customers, as well as take what we've been able to do at Yocum and contribute that to what they're doing, we found some wonderful complements with some of the partners that we chose to enter into this transaction with."

This everything-must-go sale includes the company's nine Holiday gas and convenience store franchises, which it sold back to Holiday Companies, based out of Bloomington. Yocum Oil's Holiday stations included two in North St. Paul, one in Maplewood and one in Inver Grove Heights. According to media reports, Holiday Companies purchased the Yocum stations for $8 million in April.

Yocum Oil was founded in 1959 by Paul Yocum and his wife, Fern, who ran the business together. At the time, Paul would carry five-gallon pails of heating oil to fill customers' oil tanks to heat their homes. A year later, Yocum Oil opened a full-service gas station at the corner of McKnight and Stillwater roads in Maplewood.

Fern died in 2011, and Paul passed away just a year later.

Fast forward to 2014, with the company now run by their grandson Tim, the third generation of Yocums opted to sell after long deliberations. They said discussions on bringing in partners took "months" and they needed to make sure it was a correct fit.

"It was a very difficult decision," Yocum said. "We're very proud of our employees and proud of our heritage, and proud of our performance to date. That's why choosing the right partners to work with was so important when deciding to go down this road."

Ultimately, it was the aptitude and past success of Mansfield and Lubrication Technologies that helped them decide that finalizing the sale was ultimately the best thing for the business and its customers.

"They offer them the same type of service we've been able to provide, and expand on that service with some additional service and solutions on a national level," he said. "They have another layer of technology and communication as well as additional resources."

Joe Campbell, senior vice president of operations at Mansfield, is looking to use those resources to help continue building a climbing business.

"Our Great Lakes operation has been growing rapidly for the past five years, and this was a great opportunity to accelerate that growth," he said in the press statement.

There will still be a large number of Yocum employees on the payroll under the new management.

The next steps are to work on melding the existing operation with the new ownership, so that it becomes, as Tim Yocum put it, "at minimum, a seamless integration".

An important aspect to the sale is that employees who have transitioned to the new companies keep contact with the same customers, and Yocum said everyone wants to make sure that familiarity isn't lost.

Tim Faklis can be reached at tfaklis@lillienews.com or at 651-748-7814.


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