Cairns-based fuel company Trinity Petroleum has been sold in a massive deal that signals further confidence in the future of the TNQ economy.
Owner Dean Pradal will today end a 40-year career at the company after reaching a sale agreement with one of Japan's largest oil and energy companies, which currently operates 43 service stations in South-East Queensland and Northern NSW through the Freedom Fuels brand.
The Trinity Petroleum sale follows a string of high-profile acquisitions of Cairns businesses over the past 18 months, mostly in the tourism industry. Iconic local brands including Cairns Coconut Holiday Park, Raging Thunder, Big Cat, Reef Magic and TUSA Dive have all been bought by large corporate firms.
Mr Pradal told TropicNow it was a "tough decision" to sell after decades spent growing the business from its early days as a "one-man, one truck" operation to a company with over 175 staff across 18 retail sites.
He will use a large portion of the sale funds to establish the Trinity Foundation, a community focused charity to support the Far Northern community.
"Handing over the reins of Trinity after 40 years has been a hard decision but there comes a point when we all need to take stock and give the company the stepping stone it needs to grow and expand," Mr Pradal said.
"It was important to me to find a good fit for my staff, customers, local support and corporate image. Freedom Fuels has key goals that are in line with Trinity’s, therefore making the choice an easy one."
Mr Pradal thanked staff, customers and suppliers for their support of the past four decades.
"I'd like to extend my personal and genuine appreciation to our customers and suppliers who have supported Trinity over many years - they have contributed to Trinity's growth and the company wouldn't be where it is without their support", Mr Pradal said.
"I am proud of the Trinity team and what we have achieved over that time, and I look forward to seeing the future growth of the company under the stewardship of Freedom Fuels and Idemitsu."
A spokesman for Freedom Fuels described Trinity Petroleum as a ”quality, well-run businesses”.
"Companies such as Trinity Petroleum don’t come along every day," the spokesman said.
"The acquisition provides a great opportunity to connect the existing business in the southern part of the state through to the Far North, making it one of the largest independent fuel companies in Queensland."