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GPM Acquires Remainder of VPS Convenience

RICHMOND, Va. — GPM Investments LLC and VPS Convenience Store Group Inc. are shaking hands again, this time for VPS' Midwest division.

The latest transaction between the two companies comes about 18 months after GPM acquired the Southeast operations of VPS.

The new deal includes 163 company-operated stores located in the Midwestern United States, with 116 stores in Indiana, 10 in Ohio, 30 in Michigan and seven in Illinois. The store brands include Village Pantry and Next Door Store. Fuel brands include Marathon and Phillips 66, with additional unbranded fuel locations.

"We have started 2015 with a continued focus on store expansion," said GPM President and CEO Arie Kotler. "This acquisition is our largest purchase in this region of the country and we are excited to continue our plan of strategic growth."

The purchase seemingly includes all of VPS' remaining assets. As of Wednesday, the retailer's website listed Village Pantry and Next Door Stores as its brands, which include 163 stores in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Illinois — the exact number of stores in the deal.

Raymond James served as exclusive financial advisor to VPS in connection with the transaction.

GPM's acquisition of the VPS Midwest division comes just two months after GPM made its first inroads into the Midwest with a deal to buy 43 c-stores from Road Ranger LLC, as CSNews Online previously reported.

Earlier this month, GPM Investments also purchased eight One Stop Stores in North and South Carolina that were previously owned by Arey Oil. These stores are currently being rebranded to one of GPM's existing brands, Scotchman Stores.

All the recent transactions will bring GPM's footprint to more than 800 locations in 14 states. Its current operating banners include Fas Mart, Shore Stop, Scotchman Stores, Young's, Li'l Cricket and BreadBox.

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