Sun Capital Partners Affiliate Acquires Worsley, Li'L Cricket

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Sun Capital Partners Affiliate Acquires Worsley, Li'L Cricket

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- An affiliate of private investment firm Sun Capital Partners Inc. acquired c-store operator Worsley Operating Cos. and its various affiliates and signed agreements to acquire the assets of another c-store operator, Li'L Cricket, the company stated.

"We are pleased to add Worsley and Li'L Cricket to our growing portfolio of convenience store affiliates," David A. Blechman, principal of Sun Capital Partners, said in a statement. "These acquisitions more than double the number of stores owned and operated by our affiliates and will extend our footprint into two states where we did not have prior representation. We expect to take advantage of the economies of scale and increased merchandising opportunities afforded by this transaction as we continue to re-invest in stores and improve our service to customers."

As reported first in a newsflash yesterday by CSNews Online, Worsley operates 124 convenience stores in North and South Carolina under the Scotchman, Youngs' and S-E names, with major fuel brands including BP, Exxon, Shell, Mobil and Sunoco, as well as its proprietary brands Carolina Petro and Anytime Energy, according to Sun Capital.

In addition, Worsley appointed Jeffrey W. Turpin to the role of president and CFO effective immediately. He has spent 13 years with the company and comes to the position from his previous role as COO and CFO, according to Sun Capital.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for Worsley, our customers and associates to join forces with Sun Capital, a sponsor with deep operating and financial resources," he said in a statement. "Sun Capital shares our operating philosophy and commitment to service, giving us the ability, not available in our previous structure, to enhance the value proposition for our loyal customers."

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Calls to Sun Capital and Worsley were not returned by presstime.

Separately, an affiliate of Sun Capital also signed a definitive agreement to acquire Li'L Cricket Food Stores Inc., operator of 88 convenience stores in South Carolina that sell fuel under the brands Valero and Marathon, Sun Capital stated.

"I'll be 77 this summer," Gordon Zuber, president and CEO of Li'L Cricket, told CSNews Online. "I spoke with my family, they didn't want to continue it, so we decided to sell."

Zuber was unsure of what changes may occur at Li'L Cricket stores, but noted that Sun Capital "may operate [the stores] a little differently," and "will continue to make improvements as we have done."

Also not known was if the Li'L Cricket name would remain.

"I don't know if they will continue using the name Li'L Cricket," he said. "It's well-established down here."

Morgan Keegan & Co. Inc. served as financial adviser to both Worsley and Li'L Cricket, according to Sun Capital.