Logos for Refuel and Cruizers

Holmes Oil Selling Business to Refuel Operating Co.


CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The parent company of the Cruizers convenience store chain is selling its assets to Refuel Operating Co. LLC.

Chapel Hill-based Holmes Oil Co. entered into an agreement to sell its business to Refuel Operating Co. LLC. Based in Charleston, S.C., Refuel is a portfolio company of First Reserve, a leading global private equity investment firm exclusively focused on energy.

Edward Holmes founded Holmes Oil in 1997 when he acquired Kenan Oil Co. In addition to operating a wholesale distributorship for ExxonMobil and Valero motor fuels, Holmes Oil owns and operates 26 Cruizers c-stores in the greater Raleigh-Durham market.

"Edward has built a wonderful company over the years and we are extremely excited to welcome their employees to the Refuel family. Cruizers has an established footprint in the attractive Raleigh-Durham market and provides us with immediate density as Refuel expands into North Carolina," said Refuel CEO Mark Jordan.

"Cruizers has a laser focus on customer service and delivers a great shopping experience to its customers. We are thrilled to add such an exceptional business to the Refuel platform," he added.

According to Edward Holmes, the transaction is a tribute to the Cruizers associates.

"This company was built by the amazing store teams, great managers, an extraordinary home office staff and unbelievable senior leaders, to whom I'm profoundly grateful," he said. "Refuel is a company of great people who will take Cruizers into an even brighter ever-changing future. Customer delight has been our mission and they will take it to a new level. Great transition for all."

Financial details of the transactions were not disclosed. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval, and is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

BMO Capital Markets acted as the exclusive financial advisor and Manning Fulton & Skinner acted as legal counsel to Holmes Oil in the transaction. Locke Lord LLP and Womble Bond Dickinson acted as legal counsel to Refuel.

The transaction represents the sixth acquisition for Refuel since establishing the partnership with First Reserve in May 2019 and brings the total company operated store count to 113 stores.

Most recently, Refuel struck a deal to acquire Double Quick Inc., an Indianola, Miss.-based retail fuel distribution and convenience store chain that operated 48 c-stores, as Convenience Store News previously reported.

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