Huff’s Calling it Quits

Huffman Oil Co. Inc., the Burlington, N.C.-based motor fuels distributor and operator of Huff’s Neighborhood Stores, is divesting all 35 of its stores in central North Carolina and Virginia.

Huff’s Neighborhood Stores are well positioned and have significant customer loyalty, said James Barnwell, owner of Huffman Oil. But facing increased competition and tough retail fuel margins, the company decided it was in its best interest to divest its retail assets in order to focus on its dealer and fuel distribution business.

In order to maximize the value of the company, hired Matrix Capital. Matrix was able to execute on a competitive sale process that resulted in the chain’s acceptance of offers on 32 of the stores to date: Quality Oil Co. contracted to acquire 16 of the stores and has already closed on 14 of them. In addition, Boulous Properties LLC contracted to acquire four stores; Krisha Inc., three stores; and other buyers include M.M. Fowler Inc. and Rose Oil Co.

The stores sold approximately 45 million gallons of motor fuels per year, with the majority of that volume being sold at its 30 Shell branded locations. In addition, the stores sold approximately $23 million of convenience merchandise items per year. The Company owned 29 of the properties and leased the other 6 from third parties.

"Having made the decision to divest our retail operations, we knew it was imperative that we seek the best organization to maximize our return and make the process as simple as possible," Barnwell said. "[Matrix] did a great job of keeping the process moving in a positive direction and we were extremely pleased with the outcome."

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