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Southlake’s Emerge Energy sells fuels business for $178 million

Emerge Energy Services produces sand used in the hydraulic fracturing process.
Emerge Energy Services produces sand used in the hydraulic fracturing process. James Durbin

Shares of Emerge Energy Services (ticker: EMES) jumped nearly 13 percent in after-hours trading as the Southlake-based company announced a deal to sell its fuels business for $178.5 million.

Emerge, which also produces and sells sand used in hydraulic fracturing, said it entered a definitive agreement to sell Dallas-based Direct Fuels and Alabama-based Allied Energy to Sunoco.

Emerge said Direct Fuels is the largest independent regional fuel distributor and specialty process in North Texas, and has an operation in Euless. Allied Energy is a wholesale distributor of renewable and refined products.

Emerge said it plans to use the proceeds from the sale to reduce debt. Its stock gained $1.39 a share to $12.90 after the deal was announced after the close of trading on Thursday.

Before oil prices collapsed two years ago, Emerge Energy was growing rapidly as its Superior Silica Holdings unit benefited from the fracking boom across the country. But in 2015, the pullback in drilling put pressure on Emerge, which saw its stock price decline 91 percent to $4.63.

Steve Kaskovich: 817-390-7773, @stevekasko

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