From a gas station in the periphery to global energy powerhouse
Dudi Weissman's story is interesting, especially in light of the beginning of the Alon Group.
By NITZAN COHEN, THE BUSINESS POSTWith a group of companies whose total worth is estimated at billions of dollars, and with plans for expansion of energy operations, retailing and media - Dudi Weissman can smile, looking forward to the offering of the parent company.
In 2005, Alon USA went public with a value of $700 million. Today its market value is triple that at around $2 billion. The dazzling value of the company and the choice of Dudi Weissman as Entrepreneur of the Year in the US has spurred rising demand for a large stock offering of the Alon Group in the US, and the capital markets are estimating that the Alon Group will continue with aggressive development of its business there. The expanding distribution of gas stations, convenience stores, and distillation factories, explains the optimistic forecasts of investors ahead of the parent company's stock offering.
Energy and marketing
Weissman's story is interesting, especially in light of the beginning of the Alon Group. From one station that employs seven workers, the company has grown to a corporation that soon will issue in the US, which employs 12,7000 workers and owns a number of companies with a total worth that reaches a few billion dollars.
The Alon Group began its path in the 90s when it purchased Dor Energy. Combining Alon's and Dor Energy's operations, the company became a small-to-medium force in the Israeli energy market. Even though it was a small player, the group's combined operations allowed new possibilities for the group, leading ultimately to the purchase of Blue Square and entry into the US. Today, in the US, Alon owns Alon USA, which runs four distilling factories, 1,250 gas stations and convenience stores and asphalt factories.
The Alon Group has three main operating areas: Israeli energy, Israeli retail and the American energy market. In Israel, the company holds the gas stations of Dor Alon, which brought about the innovation of convenience stores which are adjacent to gas stations. In the food industry, the company holds the Blue Square network of retailing stores that is the country's largest, and the AM:PM network of convenience stores. In the food arena, the Alon group owns the permits/concessions/rights to Pizza Hut and KFC brand names
The group also is active in the media arena through its ownership of radio 103, the weekly magazine People and a new, free newspaper to be published shortly. Undertaken together with businessman Eli Azur, this will be the third (or fourth) such paper in Israel. Market sources believe that even though the billionaire Sheldon Adelson also is supposed to publish a free newspaper in the near future, it will not be a real threat to Weissman and Azur because of Weissman's greater circulation capabilities, which include 100 million face-to-face meetings with different clients - this means 100 million cash register meetings between a paying client and a cashier that will put down the newspaper in front of the client. This strengthens the marketing capabilities of Weissman and creates an additional platform for expansion into the leisure hours of the final consumer, as well.
Translated by Ahinoam Pollack
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