Mergers & Acquisitions

Refuel Tops Off With 2 More Acquisitions

Retailer picking up 9 locations in latest pair of transactions
refuel greatstops whalen's
Images/Refuel, Premier Stores, Whalen

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Continuing a long string of deals, retail and wholesale fuel distribution and convenience-store company Refuel Operating Co. LLC is acquiring nine locations from two c-store chains in two separate deals.

Refuel has acquired the assets of Premier Stores Inc., a Greensboro, N.C.-based c-store chain operating under the GreatStops brand. The transaction, which closed on Aug. 2, includes six stores in the Greensboro market. Most stores feature Little Caesar’s or Subway quick-service restaurants (QSRs), as well as 24-hour laundromats.

Also, Refuel has entered into an agreement to acquire the assets of The Whalen Corp., a Raleigh, N.C.-based c-store chain with three stores in the Raleigh-Durham market. The companies expect the transaction, subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approval, to close in fourth-quarter 2022. Southeastern Acquisition Advisors, Sanford, N.C., provided sell-side merger-and-acquisition services to Whalen for the transaction.

“The Whalen family is filled with gratitude as we complete this process with Refuel. We owe that gratitude to our many dedicated employees, who have kept the business running each day, to our loyal customers, without whom Whalen’s would not exist, and to our family-members-turned-coworkers, who have been there for every step, big and small,” the Whalen family said in a joint statement. “We are confident that Refuel will offer great opportunities for our team of employees and continue to provide the excellent experience that Whalen’s customers have come to know.”

Mark Jordan, CEO of Refuel, said, “We are extremely excited to enter a new, adjacent market with the Great Stops acquisition and expand our current footprint in the attractive Raleigh-Durham market with Whalen’s. Both acquisitions represent high-quality stores that are a strong fit with the Refuel portfolio. We are excited to welcome both teams to the Refuel family.”

The transactions represent the 12th and 13th acquisitions for Refuel since establishing the partnership with First Reserve in May 2019, bringing total store count to 195 company-operated locations across Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas, South Carolina and North Carolina.

Major acquisitions have included ALCO, Double Quick and Wag-A-Bag chain and Holmes Oil Co.’s Cruizer’s c-stores. The retailer recently received a $511 million capital infusion to continue pursuing deals.

  • Refuel is No. 46 on CSP’s 2022 Top 202 ranking of U.S. c-store chains by number of company-operated locations.

Charleston, S.C.-based Refuel is a portfolio company of First Reserve, a global private equity investment firm with a focus on the energy and industrial value chains. It is a growth platform focused on the highly fragmented retail fuel distribution and c-store sector.

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