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Tokheim Group S.A.S.
Société par actions simplifiée
Industry Manufacturing
Founded 1901[1]
Headquarters Tremblay-en-France, Paris, France
Key people
Patrick Berthon, (President)
Baudouin de la Tour (CEO )
Products Fuel supply systems
Owner Motion Equity Partners
Number of employees
Slogan Better quality all round

Tokheim Group S.A.S. is a French-based manufacturer of fuel dispensers. It claims to be one of the world's leading manufacturers and servicers of fuel dispensing equipment. The group has operations in many countries and offers customers a complete range of fuel dispensers and pumps, retail automation systems, payment terminals, media devices, replacement parts and upgrade kits, and support services including service station construction and maintenance.[2] In the 1970s, Tokheim attempted to enter the bicycle component market, but this effort was not successful.[3]


Tokheim designs and assembles fuel dispensing systems and electronic data and payment automation systems for the global fuel retail systems and services market. Tokheim services include installation, maintenance, construction, and refurbishment of fuel dispensers. The Company's products and services are used in over 40,000 service station and sold to over 350 customers from major oil companies to independent distributors. Customers include Esso, Total, Shell, Intermarché, Carrefour and BP. Tokheim has over 5,400[4] employees through 33 wholly owned sales and services subsidiaries in Europe, Asia and Africa. For the fiscal year ended April 2012, the Company had sales of €643 million.[5][6]


The company is named after the Norwegian John J. Tokheim. Working in a hardware store in Iowa, he was conscious of the dangers of storing fuel. In 1898, he designed an exterior storage system, served by a modified water pump. This development had the advantage of allowing him to accurately meter the delivery of fuel. In 1901, he patented the first fuel dispenser.[7]

The popularity of his invention, the Tokheim Dome Oil Pump, led to the founding of the Tokheim Manufacturing Company in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1901. In 1918, a group of executives from Fort Wayne, Indiana, purchased the company and moved the business there. It later grew to become Tokheim Corporation. In the 1970s, Tokheim unsuccessfully marketed a bicycle gearing system, an alternative to the derailleur.[8] In 2003, Tokheim Corporation's North America operations were acquired by First Reserve, while its international assets and subsidiaries were acquired by Tokheim S.A.S., owned 94% by AXA Private Equity and 6% by a management team. In 2005, Tokheim S.A.S. was acquired by Cognetas (previously named Electra Partners Europe), together with the Management of Tokheim.[9][10]

Cognetas had put Tokheim up for sale but in December 2011 decided to retain the group after offers failed to meet its price expectations, given Tokheim's performance and prospects for the future. Rival private equity groups First Reserve, PAI Partners and Rhone Capital were all bidding for the business, which Cognetas had hoped would fetch 400 million euros ($535 million) or more. Tokheim's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were set to reach 65 million euros in 2011, up from 48 million the previous year.[11] In June 2012 Motion Equity Partners announced its increased investment in Tokheim plus the incorporation of a new investor, the Fonds Stratégique d’Investissement (FSI).[12]


  1. ^ "History". Tokheim Corporate Website. Tokheim. 
  2. ^ Tokheim web site, Welcome to Tokheim (accessed 20 December 2011)
  3. ^ The Tokheim shifting system
  4. ^ Tokheim Company Website.
  5. ^ Motion Equity Partners Press Release
  6. ^ Tokheim Company Website: Facts and Figures
  7. ^ T. Coulibaly (2007), Il y a un siècle, l'automobile, pp. 19-20
  8. ^ Tokheim gearing system: They Say You Want a (Shifting) Revolution)
  9. ^ Tokheim web site, History (accessed 20 December 2011)
  10. ^ Scott Anderson: The Gas Pump Showcase, Petroleum Collectibles Monthly nov. 2002 issue.
  11. ^ Reuters, "Cognetas calls halt to Tokheim sale", 12 December 2011 (accessed 20 December 2011)
  12. ^ Motion Equity Partners announced a new equity investment in Tokheim, alongside the FSI

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