Sale allows High’s to “refocus on core assets,” says High’s vice president of real estate.
Hanover, Md.-based High’s of Baltimore Inc. has sold 20 High’s Dairy Stores to multiple buyers, including national consolidators, regional jobbers, and individual store operators, with help from Matrix Capital Markets Group Inc.
High’s directly operated all of the units sold. Fee simple real estate interests in three units and leasehold interests in 17 units were conveyed to the buyers.
The sale is expected to allow High’s to redeploy capital to its remaining and new-to-industry retail units, comprised of 46 high volume convenience stores located in highly populated areas of the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. corridor.
“The justification of locations and reallocation of capital to maximize potential return is a process that chains should periodically perform. It has also allowed us to refocus on our core assets,” said Brian Darnell, principal and vice president of real estate for High’s.
For more than 60 years, High’s has been a petroleum marketing and convenience store operator in the region, and it is highly regarded for providing value to customers through friendly service, quality product offerings, and ultimate convenience due to highly accessible, superior locations. High’s stores offer Shell and CITGO branded fuels, a wide assortment of convenience merchandise, and freshly prepared coffee and food.
Matrix provided merger and acquisition advisory services to High’s, which included valuation advisory, asset marketing through a customized structured sale process, and negotiation of the transactions. The transaction was managed by Tom Kelso, managing director and head of the Energy and Multi-Site Retail Group; Spencer Cavalier, director; Matt Murphy, senior associate; and Sean Dooley, senior analyst.
“Matrix has been providing valuation guidance to High’s shareholders since 2003, which allowed High’s to time the marketing of these properties in order to achieve maximum value,” said Cavalier. “We believe High’s consistent focus on the assessment and proper allocation of capital is a primary reason the retail chain has continued to grow and thrive. We have enjoyed working with High’s over the years and greatly appreciate the opportunity to structure and execute these transactions.”
Jay Ghingher and Jacqueline Allen of Saul Ewing LLP served as legal counsel for High’s.