Eye On Growth

• 7-Eleven Inc. closed on its acquisition of 18 Open Pantry locations in Wisconsin, primarily in the greater Milwaukee and Madison markets. The deal marks the convenience store chain's return to the state. A few Open Pantry stores were not included in the deal. The c-store giant also purchased 23 c-stores from Strasburger Enterprises. The sites, which operate primarily under the Quix banner, are spread throughout north and central Texas. They will be rebranded as 7-Eleven by the end of the year. Strasburger Enterprises said the sale of the Quix stores allows it to focus on its convenience store management business.

• ExxonMobil Corp. may be hanging a for sale sign on its Esso gas station chain in Germany, which includes more than 1,100 gas stations across the country. The company is in preliminary talks with multiple parties, according to reports. Analysts believe Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. could be a possible suitor, as it just gained control of Statoil Fuel & Retail's network of 2,300 stations in Scandinavia and Central and Eastern Europe. During that acquisition, Couche-Tard executive Raymond Parè said European expansion is a priority and pointed to Germany as an area of focus.

• RaceTrac Petroleum has expanded its new store prototype beyond its home state of Georgia. A new prototype store recently opened in Little Elm, Texas, and another 6,000-square-foot "RT6K" prototype is scheduled to open in Allen, Texas, later this year. The stores feature expanded food and beverage options, such as a Swirl World frozen yogurt bar, fried chicken and biscuits, 24 frozen drink flavors and a walk-in beer cooler.

• GPM Investments LLC, operator of the Fas Mart and Shore Stop convenience store chains, offered to purchase a 50-percent stake in EZ Energy Ltd.'s U.S. unit, which owns and operates 69 Easytrip c-stores and another 22 dealer-owned/operated locations in northern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. GPM offered $15 million, according to EZ Energy, which is based out of Ramat Gan, Israel. As of press time, E-Z Energy's board was reviewing GPM's offer.

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