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    Huffman Oil Co. Divests Stores

    The company's 35 stores were sold to various regional companies.

    BURLINGTON, N.C. -- Huffman Oil Co. Inc., a petroleum distributor and operator of 35 Huff's Neighborhood Store convenience stores, sold its chain to a number of c-store operators so it could focus on its dealer and distribution business, according to Matrix Capital Markets Group Inc., which handled the sale.

    The 35 stores -- 29 owned by the company and six leased from third parties -- are primarily located in central North Carolina, with one store located in Virginia, Matrix stated. The stores, 30 of which offer Shell-branded fuels, sell approximately 45 million gallons of motor fuels per year. In-store sales total approximately $23 million per year, according to the company.

    To date, 32 of the stores received offers, Matrix stated. Quality Oil Co. is contracted to acquire 16 stores, and already closed on 14 stores, while Boulous Properties LLC is expected to acquire four stores. In addition, Krisha Inc. is contracted to acquire three stores, and remaining stores are expected to be purchased by M.M. Fowler Inc. and Rose Oil Co., according to Matrix.

    Last summer, the owner of Huffman Oil, James Barnwell, decided to divest its retail operations to focus on its dealer and fuel distribution business, along with the company's growing propane operation, according to Matrix.

    "The stores' position in their market, the area's improving demographics and the high percentage of owned real estate in this transaction combined to drive demand for the stores and made for a very competitive sale process amongst both strategic acquirers and owner/operator buyers," Matrix vice president, Cedric Fortemps, said in a statement.

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