Mass. company makes top bid for M.W. Sewall's Bath-based convenience stores

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BATH — A Massachusetts-based energy company and convenience store operator was the top bidder Tuesday in an auction for M.W. Sewall’s chain of 11 retail stores, an attorney for Sewall’s bankruptcy trustee said Wednesday.

Attorney Gayle Allen was not able to provide the amount of the bid by Energy North Group, or the names of any other bidders. Neither Trustee Mark Stickney nor a representative of Tewksbury-based Energy North could be reached.

Energy North was one of five qualified bidders that participated in an April 6 auction for M.W. Sewall’s home-heating oil assets. Former company President Edward “Ned” Sewall III won that auction with a bid of about $4.7 million, which included $2.69 million that he says the company owes him from a 2007 buyout by his brothers, Philip and Mark.

According to Energy North’s website, the company was founded in 1981 and delivers gasoline and diesel to customers throughout New England. It also operates 11 Fresh Express stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

A hearing to confirm Tuesday’s auction is scheduled for April 28 at U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Portland.

The auctions are part of a process to bring the fuel company out of bankruptcy. The company, which has served the Mid-Coast since 1887 and runs the Clipper Mart chain of convenience stores, filed for bankruptcy protection in March 2009.

Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.