Crown Oil snaps up failed fuel suppliers assets

Bury, Lancashire-based wholesaler and fuel distributer Crown Oil UK has purchased some of the assets of collapsed rival Samuel Cook & Co.

KPMG was appointed administrator at Burnley’s Samuel Cooke & Co, which also had a fuel card business, on 24 July.

Earlier this month [2 August] KPMG completed the sale of “key assets of the company” to Cooke Fuels & Lubricants, a newly-formed subsidiary of Crown Oil.

Paul Flint, associate partner at KPMG and joint administrator, says: “We are delighted to have concluded the swift sale of the customer list and intellectual property to Cooke Fuels & Lubricants, particularly as the deal ensures that there has been minimum disruption to the supply of services to Samuel Cooke’s customers.”

“We continue to seek buyers for the remaining assets of Samuel Cooke & Co, including the company’s property and vehicle fleet, while we conduct a wind-down of the business.”

Nick Deal, manager for logistics development at the Road Haulage Assocation, says that just as with haulage there is "a very small margin" to be had for those selling fuel. "Someone's making money and that's the government and oil producers, not the wholesalers".

Deal says the UK government must act and follow the French administration's tact and bring in a reduction in fuel prices.

Crown Oil had turnover of £42m in year to 31 August 2011, and pre-tax profit of £1.2m. It has an O-licence for 23 vehicles and three trailers at its Heap Bridge address in Bury, as well as an O-licence for four vehicles and one trailer at  a site in Doncaster.