A QuickChek store and gas station location — Courtesy: QuickChek Corp.
By Joshua Burd
An Arkansas-based gas and convenience chain is acquiring QuickChek Corp., the Readington-based owner of more than 150 stores across New Jersey and New York.
Murphy USA, which is publicly traded, will pay $645 million in cash to buy the privately owned chain of stores and gas stations. The deal will give Murphy a robust presence in the Northeast, building on a footprint that spans nearly 1,500 sites primarily in the Southwest, Southeast and Midwest.
“In October we outlined an updated capital allocation strategy and committed to improving our food and beverage offer at existing and future sites,” Murphy USA CEO and President Andrew Clyde said. “This transaction greatly accelerates those efforts and benefits, and is expected to provide reverse synergies across our network, while enhancing future returns on new stores. The transaction is also expected to create direct synergies that leverage our enterprise scale and our distinctive capabilities in fuel, tobacco and loyalty.
“We are excited to join forces with an exceptional and highly engaged team at QuickChek who share Murphy USA’s passion for delivering excellence every day to all our stakeholders.”
Based in El Dorado, Arkansas, Murphy USA is a chain of gas and convenience stores. It is set to acquire one of New Jersey’s best-known local brands, which was founded in 1967 as an extension of Durling Farms’ door-to-door milk and fresh dairy products delivery service that originally opened in 1888.
The family-owned business, which is based in the Whitehouse Station section of Readington, has a strong regional following across its 157 stores in central and northern New Jersey and the New York metro area. Among other offerings, QuickChek sells quick-service food alongside convenience items, with many of its locations offering fuel service.
“QuickChek and Murphy USA both reflect a family heritage and a strong people culture,” QuickChek Chairman and CEO Dean Durling said. “I am thrilled by Murphy USA’s commitment to honor our legacy and preserve our brand while learning from our business model. I am proud of what we have accomplished in making QuickChek what it is today and I am excited about the opportunities for continued growth and success in the next chapter in QuickChek’s journey. I know QuickChek’s dedicated employees and valued customers remain in good hands.”
The purchase price includes expected tax benefits valued at $20 million for a net after-tax purchase price of $625 million, according to a news release. Murphy USA will finance the transaction with a combination of cash on hand, existing credit facilities and new debt, with a financing commitment from Royal Bank of Canada.
The transaction is slated to close during the first quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval. RBC Capital Markets LLC and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP acted as financial and legal advisers to Murphy USA, respectively, while BofA Securities Inc. and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP acted as financial and legal advisers to QuickChek, respectively.