Quarles Petroleum Inc. has acquired Verona, Va.-based Dixie Gas & Oil Corp.
Dixie is one of the region’s largest independent suppliers of retail propane, heating oil, commercial fuels and lubricant products serving over 10,000 customers in 17 counties throughout Virginia and West Virginia.
The company was originally founded as Dixie Bottle Gas Company in 1946 by Dennis Earhart and his father, Roy Earhart. Over the next three decades, the company grew its propane businesses and also expanded its product offerings to include heating oil, gasoline, motor oil, tires, batteries and other automotive accessories before changing its name to Dixie Gas & Oil Corporation in 1963. The company entered the convenience store industry in the 1970s, eventually operating six convenience stores and six Subway restaurants before divesting them to Go-Mart in 2015.
Chris Earhart took the reins as president after the passing of his father, Dennis, in 1991 and, along with Danny Alexander, Executive Vice President, has continued to drive the company’s success and expansion for nearly 30 years. During this time, Dixie made a number of acquisitions and also expanded its service area with the addition of new retail propane offices and bulk plants. The company currently operates five bulk plants including a rail terminal at its Verona, Va., headquarters, as well as four retail offices with appliance showrooms. Dixie is highly regarded for its quality products and services, excellent customer service and commitment to its local communities.
“We are pleased that our organization will become part of Quarles Petroleum,” said Chris Earhart. “As a family business with an equally long history, they share our commitment to our customers, our employees, and the communities that we serve. We also appreciate the advisory expertise of the entire Matrix organization in the successful completion of our project.”
Matrix Capital Markets Group Inc. (Matrix) provided merger and acquisition advisory services to Dixie, which included valuation advisory, marketing the business through a confidential, structured sale process, and negotiation of the transaction. The transaction was managed by Vance Saunders, Managing Director; Spencer Cavalier, Co-Head of Matrix’s Downstream Energy & Convenience Retail Investment Banking Group; John Duni, Vice President, and Ned Farley, Analyst.
“It’s never an easy decision to sell a third-generation company that’s been in operation for almost 75 years,” said Saunders. “We’re grateful that Chris and Danny entrusted us to guide them through this process and wish them all the best in their future endeavors.”
Jessica Robinson and Victor Santos of Nelson, McPherson, Summers & Santos, L.C. served as legal counsel to Dixie.