Auburn’s Flyers expands into SoCal with Fleet Card buy

By: Gus Thomson, JOurnal Staff WRiter
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Auburn’s Flyers expands into SoCal with Fleet Card buy Auburn’s Flyers Energy has closed the deal on its purchase of a Bakersfield business that expands its presence into Southern California. An independent fuel marketer based at the Auburn Airport Industrial Park, Flyers finished the final paperwork earlier this month to acquire the assets of Bakersfield’s Fleet Card Fuels and announced the purchase Monday. Both companies are family owned with long histories in the California fuel business. Flyers has been branded as Nella Oil for several decades and changed its name this past September. “The two companies are a good geographic and cultural fit,” Flyers managing partner Walt Dwelle said. Flyers retail operations are now composed of 44 convenience stores and truck stops. The company operates a fleet of 75 trucks in California and Nevada to keep its base of stores, dealers and wholesale customers supplied with fuel. The deal extends Flyers Energy’s reach into the Los Angeles basin for the first time, picking up supply agreements to more than 50 additional fuel sites under the Valero, Shell, Chevron and 76 banners. The privately held Auburn business believes a key to company growth is franchising the Flyers name to independent fuel sites. “Flyers is our proprietary brand, offering fuel discounts, reduced credit-card fees and a turnkey image package,” Flyers sales manager Jay Galvin said. The business is moving to integrate Fleet Card’s card-lock sites into the existing Flyers network, making it one of the largest fleet-fueling operators in the country. Flyers extended employment offers to a majority of existing Fleet Card Fuels team members and is still working to fill more positions for salespeople, drivers and office staff. General Manager Rick Teste said Flyers is in the process of hiring in several markets. – Gus Thomson