Worsley Acquires L’il Cricket Stores

Worsley Operating Corporation, of Wilmington, N.C., has acquired Li’l Cricket Food Stores Inc., the operator of 88 convenience stores in South Carolina under the Li’l Cricket brand name, the company said.

Worsley is an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners Inc., a private investment firm focused on leveraged buyouts, equity, and other investments in market-leading companies.

Sun Capital is affiliated with Village Pantries Holding Corp., an operator of 190 convenience stores throughout Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. Village Pantry has the second largest market share in Central Indiana and provides fuel services at 139 locations.

In aggregate, Sun Capital’s affiliates own approximately 400 convenience stores in five Midwestern and southeastern states, selling 277 million gallons of fuel annually.

Li’l Cricket sells premium fuel under several major petroleum brands, including Valero and Marathon, while Worsley, operator of 122 convenience stores in North and South Carolina under the Scotchman, Youngs’ and S–E names, sells fuel brands including BP, Exxon, Shell, Mobil, Sunoco and proprietary brands Carolina Petro and Anytime Energy.

"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,” said Jeffery W. Turpin, Worsley’s president and CFO.

Sun Capital principal David Blechman said, "We are pleased to add Li’l Cricket to the Worsley platform. 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."

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