A SECOND generation Malton fuel company has been sold from its founding family after more than 50 years, in a “perfect fit” deal with a Hull-based counterpart.

Stones Fuel Oils, based in York Road Industry Estate, has been owned and run by Geoff Stones for more than 50 years, having been started by his father before him.

The company has been bought by Rix Petroleum, a fifth-generation family business headquartered in Hull, after Mr Stones decided to retire at the age of 74.

All Stones Fuel Oils staff, including tanker drivers and office workers, have been retained by Rix Petroleum, and another tanker is to be stationed at the depot, bringing the fleet to three.

Mr Stones said he agreed to sell the business to Rix Petroleum because, as another local, family company, he was confident they would uphold the values which Stones Fuel Oils was built on.

He said: “I have run Stones Fuel Oils, initially with my father, for about 50 years now, and it seems the right time to step back and take life a little more steadily.

“After much thought, I have decided to sell the fuel oil side of the operation to Rix Petroleum, another family-owned and locally-based business. I am confident that they will maintain the high standard of customer service that we have aimed to give.”

The move extends Rix Petroleum’s coverage further into North Yorkshire, enabling the company to service not just Malton and surrounding areas, but as far north as Whitby and west to Northallerton and Ripon.

Duncan Lambert, managing director of Rix Petroleum, described Stones Fuel Oils as the “perfect fit” for Rix as both businesses had much in common.

He said: “Stones Fuel Oils is a fantastic and well-run family business that has a very loyal customer base. It is a credit to Geoff and his father that it is held in such high regard.

“Like Rix, Stones Fuel Oils has built its reputation on true family values of fairness and offering a quality, personal service. Those values form the core of Rix Petroleum too and we fully intend to honour them at our new Malton depot.”

Mr Lambert added that the company would continue to provide domestic heating oil, commercial diesel and associated products to local farmers, businesses and rural households, as well as extending the product range to introduce other services as well.

Rix Petroleum is the largest company in the J.R. Rix & Sons Ltd group – a fifth generation family business.