Rushco Food Stores Sells Business, Exits C-store Industry

The sale to Sampson-Bladen Oil includes 19 Rushco Markets branded convenience stores and one commissioned marketer location.

SALISBURY, N.C. — Rushco Oil Co., operator of Rushco Food Stores Inc., is saying goodbye to the convenience retailing industry with the sale of its assets to Sampson-Bladen Oil Co. and its affiliates.

North Carolina-based Rusher Oil distributed Amoco and BP fuels to 19 Rushco Markets branded convenience stores and one commissioned marketer location within a 20-mile radius of its Salisbury headquarters.

Established in 1963 as W.H. Rusher and Son, Rusher Oil Co. was founded by W.H. Rusher after years as a commission marketing agent with Amoco Oil Co. Under the leadership of Bob L. Rusher, the business was reoriented toward retail fuel sales, purchasing desirable real estate in its marketing territory for service stations, and expanded the gasoline marketing side of the organization.

Bobby Rusher and Joey Rusher joined the business in the 1980s and expanded operations by building new-to-industry stores and remodeling older locations into larger facilities. During this time, Rushco Food Stores was established and is known as Rushco Markets.

Matrix Capital Markets Group Inc. provided merger and acquisition advisory services to Rusher Oil, including valuation advisory, marketing the business through a confidential, structured sale process, and negotiation of the transaction. The transaction was managed by Vance Saunders, managing director; John Duni, vice president; and James Mickelinc, analyst.

"Selling a business is a difficult decision. Matrix was able to lead us through the process and provide timely advice to help us make the best decision possible," commented the Rusher family.

Saunders added, "Three generations of the Rusher Family have worked hard to create the exceptional business that exists today. We're honored to have been selected to advise the Rushers on such an important transaction for their family. We wish them all the best in their future endeavors."

Founded in 1936, Sampson-Bladen Oil is a fourth-generation, family-owned enterprise that has grown into a business of convenience stores, quick serve restaurants, car washes, a wholesale fuel division and a lubricants division. With the purchase of the Rushco Markets, Sampson-Bladen Oil’s store count has increased to 109 stores. 

Haddon M. Clark, president, saw a natural fit with the opportunity to add the Rushco Markets to the footprint.

"The Rusher family operated quality stores, and we are honored they selected us to carry on in their communities," he commented. "I thank all the people that contributed to the smooth transition of the changeover."

Sampson-Bladen Oil Company operates their stores under the name of Han-Dee Hugo's. 

Will Smoak and Wells Hall of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP served as legal counsel to Rusher Oil. James Oliver of Hatch, Little, and Bunn served as legal counsel to Sampson-Bladen Oil.