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Friendly Competitor Turns Into Acquisition for Wallis Cos.

ST. LOUIS — Wallis Co. is adding 33 convenience stores to its portfolio.

The company signed a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of U-Gas Holdings Inc., including 19 U-Gas and 14 Dirt Cheap branded convenience stores. The deal also includes a Gigi's Commissary.

"This is a major milestone in Wallis Cos.' 48-year history. We look forward to a future built on core values of taking care of our customers, treating employees and suppliers with respect and offering quality food and service," said Lynn Wallis, president and CEO of Wallis Cos.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and both parties currently expect it will close in September.

"While the decision to sell was a difficult one, we know that the Wallis family has a great passion for the industry and both organizations share the same values, purpose and commitment to service," said Craig Taylor, president and CEO of U-Gas and Dirt Cheap. 

He added: "We sincerely thank all of our wonderful customers we had the pleasure of serving throughout our years in business, but it was our associates who were the engine and backbone of our companies. To them we extend our deepest thanks and appreciation for all their hard work and dedication."

The two companies have a history of being friendly competitors. Wallis Cos. began in 1968 in Cuba, Mo., with one location on Route 66 and now operates a network of 34 convenience stores and supplies 167 dealer locations. U-Gas was founded 1977 at the corner of Highway 30 and Delores Drive in Fenton, Mo.

"Our families have grown up in this industry together. We became a customer of the Gigi's Commissary in 2014, and Craig and I have served on [the Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association's] board for many years. This is just another fitting chapter in the legacy of our companies," said Rachel Wallis Andreasson, executive vice president of Wallis Cos.

Raymond James served as exclusive financial advisor to U-Gas Holdings Inc. in connection with the transaction.

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