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Flyers Energy buying Santa Rosa’s Redwood Coast Petroleum

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Santa Rosa’s Redwood Coast Petroleum, for a quarter-century a part of Redwood Oil Company, has been acquired by Flyers Energy of Auburn, the buyer announced Monday.

Redwood Coast’s current owner, Poma Holding Company of Riverside County, also sold to Flyers its Poma Distributing Company of Bloomington, according to a Flyers press release. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Redwood Coast distributes petroleum products. The company has wholesale lubricants distribution contracts with more than 100 branded gas stations, according to Flyers.

In 2014, Flyers was named one of the nation’s 5,000 fastest-growing companies by Inc. Magazine. Last year, the company acquired California marketer Redding Oil and Nevada marketer Allied Washoe. Those transactions, combined with the deals announced Monday, will effectively triple Flyers’ lubricants volume and allow the company to expand its business into Southern California.

“It’s a very complementary purchase,” Flyers marketing manager Chris Haven said of the latest acquisition.

Redwood Coast employed 97 workers. About 70 will continue to work for Flyers, Haven said.

The company once belonged to Redwood Oil, one of the county’s larger employers.

Redwood Oil was created in 1979 by the merger of two companies that had been owned separately by Robert Barbieri and Peter Van Alyea. The combined business operated for the next 25 years.

“We grew into one of the largest distributors in the state,” Van Alyea recalled Monday.

At its peak, he said, Redwood Oil employed 600 workers. The company had warehouses or other distributions facilities from Hayward to Eureka and in the Sacramento area, Auburn and Reno.

In 2004, the company split. Van Alyea took the company’s service stations under the Redwood Oil banner, the name of his earlier company formed in 1972. Now based in Rohnert Park, Redwood Oil owns 23 stations from Cotati to Oregon and employs 300 workers.

Barbieri took the wholesale operation and renamed it Redwood Coast Petroleum. He sold a portion of that business to his son, Nick Barbieri.

About four years later, Barbieri sold the remaining business to Poma. He retired about 2009 and died in July.

His son still operates two petroleum businesses, Redwood Coast Fuels and North Bay Petroleum. The two companies employ about 100 workers and operate in Sonoma, Marin, Napa, Lake, Mendocino and Humboldt counties, Nick Barbieri said.

As part of the acquisition, Flyers purchased a service station in Santa Rosa on College Avenue and an unattended pumping “cardlock” site in Healdsburg for commercial users. The company operates Flyers stations and distributes gasoline for Chevron, Shell, Valero and 76.

You can reach Staff Writer Robert Digitale at 521-5285 or robert.digitale@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @rdigit.

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