Worsley Acquires Li'l Cricket

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Worsley Acquires Li'l Cricket

WILMINGTON, N.C. –- Worsley Operating Corp., an affiliate of Boca Raton, Fla.-based Sun Capital Corp., acquired the business of Li'l Cricket Food Stores Inc., operator of 88 convenience stores in South Carolina under the Li'l Cricket name, and another affiliate of Sun Capital.

"This is a wonderful add-on acquisition that complements Worsley's South Carolina footprint and provides us with the opportunity to enhance the value proposition for Li'l Cricket's loyal customers," Jeffery W. Turpin, president and CFO of Worsley, said in a statement.

"We are pleased to add Li'l Cricket to the Worsley platform," David A. Blechman, principal of Sun Capital, said in a statement. "We expect to take advantage of the economies of scale and increased merchandising opportunities afforded by this transaction as we continue to fill-in our regional platform and build a national operating convenience store group."

On March 27, Boca Raton, Fla.-based Sun Captial acquired Worsley and signed agreements to acquire Li'l Cricket. Sun Capital also owns Indianapolis-based c-store operator Village Pantry.

Shortly after the Sun Capital deals were announced, CSNews Online was the first to report that sources familiar with the transactions said Li'L Cricket was likely to be merged into Worsley's operations.

"There's two regions operated under one holding company," Bleckman told CSNews Online in early April. "The Midwest is run by Mick [Parker of Village Pantry], the Southeast by Jeff."

As for Li'L Cricket's place within the region, Bleckman said at the time the chain will be a part of the group, but had declined to specify if the chain would fall under Turpin's lead.

Li'l Cricket's 88 stores sell motor fuel under the Valero and Marathon brands, adding considerable size and two new fuel banners to Worsley's 122 stores, which sell fuel under its proprietary Scotchman, Youngs', S-E, Carolina Petro and Anytime Energy, as well as national names including BP, Exxon, Shell, Mobil and Sunoco.

In total, affiliates of Sun Capital own approximately 400 convenience stores in five Midwestern and southeastern states, selling 277 million gallons of fuel annually, according to the company.