CHARLESTON, S.C. — Refuel Operating Co. LLC has entered into an agreement to acquire the assets of Albemarle Oil Co., a North Carolina-based convenience-store and retail fuel business operating under the ALCO brand. ALCO owns and operates 28 conveniences stores and 8 Dairy Queen quick-service restaurants, all in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Charleston, S.C.-based Refuel, a retail and wholesale fuel distribution and convenience-store business, is a portfolio company of First Reserve, Stamford, Conn., a global private equity investment firm exclusively focused on energy.

Based in Albemarle, N.C., ALCO was founded in 1939 and purchased by the current owners, Pat Molamphy and Larry Graham, in 1999.

“Pat and Larry have built an exceptional business over the past 22 years and we have a great respect for both of them,” said Mark Jordan, CEO of Refuel. “We are excited to expand our current footprint in the Carolinas and look forward to welcoming their employees to the Refuel family.”

Larry Graham, president of ALCO, said, “Albemarle Oil Co. would not be the success it is today if it were not for the dedication of its employees. This is evidenced by the fact that Shell just awarded the company the Best Overall Performance in 2020. We are excited that our company and associates are joining a growing and dynamic organization.”

The transaction represents the eighth acquisition for Refuel since establishing the partnership with First Reserve in May 2019 and brings the total company operated store count to 160 stores.

Other recent acquisitions include the& Double Quick and Wag-A-Bag chain and Holmes Oil Co.’s Cruizer’s c-stores. The companies did not disclose financial details of the transactions, which is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval, and the companies expect it to close in the third quarter of 2021.