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As Convenience Store Business Grows, So Does M&A

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As Convenience Store Business Grows, So Does M&A

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Over the past year, convenience store business has been growing—particularly in the acquisition space.

Convenience store in-store sales reached a record $255.6 Billion in 2020, according to NACS State of the Industry data. While total transactions declined 13.9% for the year, basket sizes increased 18.4% compared with 2019, reported CStoreDecisions (April 15).  

Growing sales appear to have sparked interest in M&A activity. Here’s a look into some notable acquisitions in the convenience store segment.

7-ELEVEN & SPEEDWAY

Last week, Seven & i Holdings’ subsidiary 7-Eleven said it completed a $21 billion acquisition of Marathon Petroleum Corp.’s Speedway convenience stores, reported The Wall Street Journal (May 14). The deal, which adds about 3,800 Speedway stores in 36 states to 7-Eleven’s business, was reached last August.

However, the FTC spoke out against the planned 7-Eleven/Speedway merger, saying it believed the transaction was illegal under Section 7 of the Clayton Act and Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act. Seven & i Holdings said it will press forward with its proposed $21 billion transaction with Marathon Petroleum Corporation that would include 3,900 Speedway locations.

The companies and the FTC could still reach a settlement even though the transaction has closed. The agency can still challenge the acquisition if it chooses, but the government generally challenges mergers before they are finalized.

CASEY’S GENERAL STORES & CIRCLE K, BUCHANAN ENERGY

Casey’s General Stores is continuing to expand its footprint by acquiring 49 Oklahoma stores from Circle K, reported Des Moines Register (March 22). Casey’s will spend $39 million on the deal, set to close by the end of July.

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The company has been steadily increasing its number of stores over the last five years. Since April 30 of last year alone, Casey’s has grown by 22 stores.  Currently, Casey’s focuses primarily on small towns and has about 2,200 convenience stores in 16 states—already having over 40 in Oklahoma.

Meanwhile, Casey’s recently completed its acquisition of Buchanan Energy, owner of Bucky’s Convenience Stores, strengthening the company’s presence in the Midwest, particularly in Nebraska and Illinois.

MURPHY USA & QUICKCHEK

Back in December, Murphy USA announced an agreement to acquire QuickChek Corporation in an all-cash transaction for $645 million. QuickChek, a family-owned chain of 157 stores located in central and northern New Jersey and the New York metro area, operates a notable food and beverage model with a strong regional brand and engaged customer following. Food and beverage represent over 50% of the company’s per-store per-year merchandise sales.

“In October we outlined an updated capital allocation strategy and committed to improving our food and beverage offer at existing and future sites,” said Murphy USA President and CEO Andrew Clyde in a press release. “This transaction greatly accelerates those efforts and benefits, and is expected to provide reverse synergies across our network, while enhancing future returns on new stores.”

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