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Blue Hen Car Wash sold in $7M+ deal

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Blue Hen Car Wash, which had two locations including this one in north Wilmington, was recently sold to a regional company. | PHOTO COURTESY OF GOOGLE MAPS

Blue Hen Car Wash, a local two-location brand, has been acquired by a regional gas station and car wash company in a deal worth at least $7 million.

Splash In ECO Car Wash, a sister brand to the Dash In gas stations owned by Maryland-based Willis Group, acquired the car washes owned and operated by Jack Quinn, the local entrepreneur who founded Blue Hen in 2013.

Blue Hen had locations off Kirkwood Highway near Newark and off Naamans Road in the northern Wilmington suburbs.

Although the terms of the deal were not disclosed in a Thursday announcement of the sale, county property records show that Willis Group acquired the Newark location for $3.925 million and the Brandywine Hundred location for $3.75 million.

Blue Hen reportedly connected with its acquirer after hiring Car Wash Advisory, an investment banking firm and transaction advisor focused exclusively on the car wash industry.

“Wills Group President and Chief Operating Officer Blackie Wills and his team at the Wills Group are an extremely professional, first-class organization and it was a true pleasure to work with them throughout the entire transaction,” Quinn said in a statement announcing the sale. “They are a buyer that I would not have identified on my own and is an example of the great benefit of Car Wash Advisory’s services and their structured sale process which achieved a great outcome for Blue Hen.”

For family-owned Willis Group, which has 280 retail locations across the Mid-Atlantic region, including Dash In, Splash In ECO Car Wash, and SMO Motor Fuels, acquiring Blue Hen will help to increase its market presence in the First State, where it currently operates six locations.

“Jack has built two top-notch car washes and a great business in the under-served Delaware market, which made it a natural fit for the Wills Group and their ‘Splash In’ brand as they continue their growth by adding express car washes to their already impressive network of 48 rollover car washes and 1 express car wash across the Mid-Atlantic region,” said Colin May, managing director at CWA.

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