BP to Take Full Ownership of Thorntons

The deal marks BP's re-entry into fully owned and operated stores in the United States.
Inside a Thorntons convenience store

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Two years after entering into a joint venture to acquire Thorntons, BP is acquiring the majority share it does not already own.

Once the deal is complete, BP will add 208 owned and operated convenience stores across the Midwest to its retail network. The c-stores are located in Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Florida. The company plans to keep and build on the Thorntons brand.

In late 2018, BP joined with ArcLight Capital Partners LLC to reach an agreement for Louisville-based Thorntons. The deal closed in February 2019, as Convenience Store News previously reported.

"We have a proud history of high-quality retail brands across the country. Incorporating Thorntons into our business combines their customer-first culture with our existing U.S. retail network and will help us deliver our convenience strategy of offering customers what they want, where and when they want it," said David Lawler, chairman and president of BP America.

Citing an analysis from Euromonitor, BP noted that the convenience opportunity will nearly double over the next decade in 45 of the leading economies of the world, growing at more than 5 percent annually. That anticipated growth lines up with BP's convenience and mobility business, which aims to nearly double global earnings by 2030.

In addition, the company has a goal to increase the strategic convenience locations in its global network from around 2,000 today to more than 3,000 by 2030.  

"We are committed to putting the customer at the heart of what we do to help accelerate the mobility revolution and redefine the convenience experience at service stations," said Greg Franks, senior vice president, mobility and convenience, Americas. "Thorntons has generated long-term customer loyalty over the last 50 years because of its best-in-class operations. We are excited to welcome them into our family."

The transaction is expected to close later this year.

This deal marks Houston-based BP's re-entry into fully owned and operated stores in the United States, a model it stepped away from through a series of divestments in the mid-2000s. Its brands in the U.S. include bp, Amoco and ampm. BP's portfolio of brands in the U.S. services more than 3 million consumers daily.