Alon USA Energy Inc. (NYSE: ALJ) said it has retained J.P. Morgan as its financial advisor, and Gibson Dunn as its legal advisor, to assist in the assessment of strategic alternatives.
The company said its board of directors’ special committee has reviewed a number of strategic alternatives, including a sale or merger, a spin-off or separation of a selected business, or a potential business combination with Delek US Holdings Inc., Alon’s largest shareholder with a stake of roughly 48% which it acquired from Israel’s Alon Group for $572 million in April 2015.
The move comes a few weeks after Azrieli Group Ltd. (TASE: AZRG) received approval from the Israel Antitrust Commissioner for the sale of its gas station company Sonol, to David Wiessman‘s Israel Oil and Gas Fund, for 364 million shekels ($96 million). Sonol operates about 240 gas stations and more than 190 convenience stores throughout Israel.
Wiessman is Alon’s Executive Director and Chairman of Alon USA Partners. He is also Executive Chairman of Blue Square-Israel Ltd. (NYSE/TASE: BSI); and Executive Chairman and President of Dor Alon Energy Israel (1988) Ltd., which operates a chain of convenience stores and fuel supply in Israel and is listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
In 1994, Wiessman became Chief Executive Officer, President, and a Director of Alon Israel. Wiessman has also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Alon from its formation in 2000 until May 2005, and as Executive Chairman from July 2000 to May 2015.
In April this year, Alon Group, which is owned by Shraga Biran, David Wiessman, and a group of kibbutzim, was said to be considering an IPO on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange as part of a 1.9 billion shekel debt settlement.
Alon Group has experienced “a sweeping downward financial spiral at almost every level of its holdings pyramid in recent years (Alon Holdings Blue Square – Israel Ltd. (NYSE: BSI; TASE: BSI), the Mega retail chain), and has itself required a 2.2 billion shekel debt settlement,” said Globes.
Most of the blame for the mess at Israel’s Mega supermarkets, which has been struggling with $360 million in debt, and has been in trouble for years, “goes to former CEO David Wiessman,” said Haaretz.
However, in 2005 he was named “Israel’s Man of the Year.” In 1976, after serving in the Israeli Air Force, Wiessman became CEO and majority shareholder in Bielsol Group, a privately owned company that owns and operates gasoline stations and real estate in Israel.
Alon USA Energy Inc., headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is an independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products, operating primarily in the South Central, Southwestern and Western regions of the United States.
Alon owns 100% of the general partner and 81.6% of the limited partner interests in Alon USA Partners, LP (NYSE: ALDW), which owns a crude oil refinery in Big Spring, Texas, with a crude oil throughput capacity of 73,000 barrels per day and an integrated wholesale marketing business.
In addition, Alon directly owns a crude oil refinery in Krotz Springs, Louisiana, with a crude oil throughput capacity of 74,000 barrels per day. Alon also owns crude oil refineries in California, which have not processed crude oil since 2012.
Alon is a leading marketer of asphalt, which it distributes primarily through asphalt terminals located predominately in the Southwestern and Western United States.
Alon is the largest 7-Eleven licensee in the United States and operates approximately 300 convenience stores which also market motor fuels in Central and West Texas and New Mexico.