Pa. firm buys Rocky Top Markets for $37 million

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By Cindy Simpson

From staff reports
A Pennsylvania-based company last week purchased Rocky Top Markets fuel stations in an almost-$37-million deal.
Lehigh Gas Partners LP acquired 34 sites in the Knoxville region in an asset purchase agreement on Aug. 1, a  company release said.
Under the $36.9 million deal, Lehigh purchased 30 stations and assumed or entered into leases for four additional stations.
The company also entered into third-party supply contracts and purchased certain equipment and other assets at the sites as part of the deal.
“We are extremely excited to enter into the Knoxville market and to establish a presence in Tennessee,” said Lehigh Chairman and CEO Joe Topper. “We are pleased to be able to acquire assets of the quality of Rocky Top and to add to our Shell portfolio.”
He added, “The acquisition provides us a solid platform in the region that we hope to grow over time.”
A call to Rocky Top Markets President Steve Kirkham was not returned.
Rocky Top Markets began as a subsidiary of Harriman Oil Co. It became a separate entity in 1998 and has operated as Rocky Top Markets LLC from headquarters based in Kingston.
The Lehigh release said $10.7 million was paid at closing for one fee property site, the four leasehold sites, seven third-party supply contracts and assets from the sites.
Under terms of the agreement, Lehigh will lease the remaining 29 motor fuel stations until August 2015, when they will be purchased and the remaining $26.2 million will be paid.
“The transaction enhances the partnership’s geographic diversity and provides it access to a new market region,” said the release. “In aggregate, including the assumed third part supply contracts, the total portfolio sold 34.1 million gallons of motor fuel in 2012. Thirty-one of the 34 sites are Shell branded.”