Matrix Announces the Successful Sale of Express Lane, Inc.
RICHMOND, VA – December 26, 2012 – Matrix Capital Markets Group, Inc. (“Matrix”) announces the successful sale of Lynn Haven, Florida based Express Lane, Inc. (“Express Lane”) to affiliates of Lehigh Gas Partners, LP (NYSE:LGP) (“Lehigh”). Express Lane directly operates forty-five (45) retail convenience stores with gasoline. Seven (7) of the stores are owned in fee simple and the remaining thirty-eight (38) are leased. The second generation, family-owned company was founded in 1984 by James E. Lewis, Jr. and was managed by his two sons, James E. “Jim” Lewis III and Reid D. Lewis. The majority of the stores are located along the coastal regions of the Florida Panhandle with a heavy concentration in the greater Panama City area. The stores sell fuels primarily under the Chevron and Exxon flags, and a portion of the chain’s stores offer branded quick-service food offerings.
Matrix provided merger and acquisition advisory services to Express Lane, which included valuation advisory, transaction structuring, marketing of the company, and negotiating the transaction with Lehigh. The competitive sale process involved only a limited number of buyers in order to maintain the shareholders’ desire for confidentiality. Matrix’s professionals that advised Express Lane on the transaction included: Tom Kelso, Managing Director and head of Matrix’s Energy & Multi-Site Retail Team; Cedric Fortemps, Director; Vance Saunders, Vice President; and Stephen Lynch, Senior Analyst.
Mr. Fortemps commented on the transaction, “It was an honor to be selected by the Lewis’s to advise them on the sale of their company. We are extremely pleased that we were able to negotiate a transaction that achieved all of the shareholders’ goals that we had discussed prior to being engaged, including completing the sale this calendar year for tax purposes.”