Murphy USA to Buy QuickChek Corp. for $645M

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Murphy USA Inc. of El Dorado said Monday that it will buy QuickChek Corp. of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, for $645 million in cash.

QuickChek is a 50-year-old family-owned chain of 157 stores in central and northern New Jersey and the New York metro. The stores offer quick-serve restaurant style food, and it has begun selling gasoline at 89 of its newest stores.

Murphy USA is Arkansas’ biggest remaining chunk of the old Murphy Oil Corp. family of companies built over a century in El Dorado. The gasoline and convenience store giant, spun off from Murphy in 2013, stayed behind when Murphy moved its headquarters from El Dorado to Houston in the spring. Murphy USA, whose stock rose after the purchase, has 1,500 locations across the Southwest, Southeast and Midwest.

After the purchase, whose price includes $20 million in expected tax benefits, Murphy USA will have a foothold in the Northeast. QuickChek’s origins date to 1888 with the delivery of dairy products.

Murphy USA CEO Andrew Clyde said the acquisition is part of a strategy it outlined in October to improve the gas and convenience store chain’s food and beverage offerings.

“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,” Clyde said in a news release.

“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.”

Murphy said it will finance the deal through cash on hand, existing credit facilities and new debt. It said it has obtained committed financing from the Royal Bank of Canada. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.

“QuickChek and Murphy USA both reflect a family heritage and a strong people culture,” QuickChek CEO and Chairman 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.”