McDougall Energy – Three Generations of Growth and Success
By Meline Beach
A new division with the Addition of Edward Fuels
As one of the largest integrated distributors of Mobil lubricant products and Esso fuel in Canada, McDougall Energy has enhanced its value proposition with its latest acquisition of Edward Fuels Limited (“Edward Fuels.”) The acquired company will operate under its existing name and management, and function as a division of McDougall Energy. Together, they offer more than 140 years of business experience.
“We want to continue to grow organically and through acquisitions,” says Darren McDougall, Allan’s grandson and current president of McDougall Energy. “We are particularly interested in businesses that help us grow our platform, extend in new geographic areas and are the right cultural and strategic fit.”
These are just some of the factors behind any merger and acquisition. Business model and mix, shared knowledge and experience, brand value and intellectual capital are other factors.
“In every acquisition, we view the opportunity from a macro level and long-term view,” says McDougall, who has expanded the business across Ontario, British Columbia and, most recently, Alberta. “We look at the best ideas, we learn from them and adopt them as best practices on both sides of the business. With regards to Edward Fuels, I’ve known Don, the president for 25 years and have the greatest respect for him and the phenomenally-successful business he has built.”
Edward Fuels, based out of Goderich, Ontario, has grown to become one of the largest independently owned petroleum distributors and marketers of Shell branded products in Ontario. With over 70 years of experience in the fuel distribution industry, Edward Fuels is a household name in the communities they serve throughout southwestern Ontario, as well as Manitoulin Island area with Manitoulin Fuels. The company, which also wholesales to both retail and commercial fuel customers in southwestern Ontario through Petroline Petroleums, has demonstrated a level of expertise, reliability and community engagement, that McDougall Energy looks forward to continuing.
McDougall Energy currently operates in three business segments: Retail gasoline; business to business, including agriculture, mining, trucking and manufacturing; and residential heating with oil and propane. Through Edward Fuels, McDougall Energy is now servicing the aviation sector, including rural airports with aviation gas and jet fuel. This new sector supports the company’s diversification strategy and strengthens its competitive position in the petroleum industry.
Part of McDougall’s competitive advantage is attributed to its proprietary brand called The Pump, launched 10 years ago. This in-house brand enables their retail petroleum customers the option to sell fuel under a custom name.
“We try to give our customers a full suite of offering across all segments,” says McDougall. “The Pump option enables independent petroleum retailers, most commonly in rural communities, an opportunity to enter the market, amongst the big brands, and a carve a name and reputation for themselves.”
McDougall Energy services a large number of these independent brands within its customer base. Many of these gas stations include carwashes and c-stores, which have an in-house foodservice program or branded QSR.
While it’s not standard to have two big brands in one portfolio, referring to Shell and Esso, McDougall is pleased to maintain customer relationships that Edward Fuels has fostered over the years and kindly welcome over 100 employees to the team.
As stated in its press release: “This is an exciting opportunity for us to grow the McDougall Energy family business thanks to the support of a great team and a continued focus on providing quality products and services. The teams at Edward Fuels and Manitoulin Fuels are very dedicated to their communities, and we will honour their reputation and continue to foster the business as it grows.”
The transition should be seamless as both companies share a similar story. They’re multi-generational, have strong family values, are entrepreneurial-spirited and community-minded.
“As a family-owned business, our values and pledge to our customers are engrained in all that we do – this will not change,” said Don Edward, president of Edward Fuels, Manitoulin Fuels and Petroline in its press release. “I am excited about the future and what it means for our customers, team members, and our communities, with McDougall Energy leading the way. The McDougall family is one that we are proud to partner with, and they’ll honour the family values that our customers have come to know and trust.”
Principled by family values, McDougall Energy is true to its word. The company has achieved a number of industry and business accolades, including a platinum member designation with Canada’s Best Managed Companies for the past nine years in a row. To achieve and maintain platinum member designation, the company must demonstrate a commitment to strategy, capability and sustainable growth. McDougall Energy attributes this recognition to its most valuable resource – their dedicated employees, who are committed to their customers and the communities in which they live and work.
With a “give where you live” mindset, McDougall Energy and its divisions support a number of community charities and give back through contributions in-kind and volunteer time. Through its Community Investment Program, the company focuses on the following areas: green (environment); education; health; recreation, arts and culture; and Indigenous communities.
To customers and communities, McDougall Energy and its divisions continue to provide essential services and support during this pandemic. The company’s entrepreneurial spirit, family values, resilient energy and dedication to service excellence serve as a great foundation for continued success today and well into the future.
Meline Beach is a Toronto-based communications practitioner and frequent contributor to Convenience & Carwash Canada. In addition to freelance writing, Meline provides communications and public relations support to businesses across Canada. She can be reached at www.mlbcomms.ca