Fas Mart Parent Completes Two Purchases

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Fas Mart Parent Completes Two Purchases

MECHANICSVILLE, Va. -- Petro Group Ltd., the parent company of GPM Investments, which operates the Fas Mart convenience chain, completed two purchases recently -- the 59-unit Double Kwik convenience store chain and a smaller six store chain from Triad Oil -- which bring GPM's store count to 221 corporate-operated and 160 dealer sites.

"It's a great little chain," Dave McComas, CEO of GPM, told CSNews Online of the Double Kwik stores. "They do a very nice job in the marketplace. I plan on learning a thing or two from them."

The acquisition of Double Kwik is a long time coming. CSNews Online broke the story in March, when it learned that the company signed agreements to purchase the stores, which generated $132 million in 2006. "We had talked to them several years ago, and Wendell Barnette [owner of the Double Kwik chain] received an offer from other entity that was better than ours," McComas told CSNews Online. "That deal was unable to be consummated, we reopened negotiations and was able to complete it."

As reported first by CSNews Online in a news flash yesterday, 55 of the Double Kwik stores have adjacent gas stations, while one location is a stand-alone Subway franchise, and all are located in Virginia and Tennessee. The Double Kwik stores mark Fas Mart's entrance into a new market, according to McComas.

In addition, four of the Triad Oil stores are located in Fas Mart's existing market of Martinsville, Va., while the remaining two are a new market for Fas Mart, in Blacksburg, Va., McComas told CSNews Online.

GPM will convert the 58 Double Kwik stores and six Triad Oil locations to the Fas Mart brand, with the first four or five Double Kwik stores sporting the Fas Mart name before Christmas, said McComas. One of the Triad Oil stores reopened last week with the Fas Mart brand, he added. Other changes include the addition of Fas Mart's loyalty program, Fas Back, and enhanced foodservice along with a new brand of gas. The majority of the Double Kwik stores will be supplied with Valero-branded gas, McComas told CSNews Online.

The Double Kwik chain was founded in 1960 by Hogue and Verda Barnette, and the first store was opened in its hometown of Wise, Va., according to the company's Web site. Then, in 1970, the couple's sons, Earl Wendell Barnette and Jerry Barnette, purchased the chain from their parents, the site stated. The chain was most recently operated by Earl Wendell Barnette and Brenda K. Barnette, according to the Web site.

As part of the acquisition, Fas Mart hired all of Double Kwik's management team and employees and folded them into its organization.

Fas Mart's acquisitions may not be over, as McComas hinted at an additional small chain acquisition that "fits into our current position," he said, declining to give additional details.