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Industry Roundup: The Top 10 Most-Read Stories in August

NATIONAL REPORT — Major acquisitions and business strategies were among the topics most important to CSNews Online readers last month. In the latest Industry Roundup, we present the top 10 most-read stories for the month of August, based on reader views:

1) MAPCO Express Trades Hands in $535M Deal
MAPCO Express Inc. has found a new owner. Delek U.S. Holdings Inc. has signed a definitive agreement to sell the retail network to Compañía de Petróleos de Chile COPEC S.A. The deal carries a $535-million price tag and covers 100-percent interest in MAPCO and certain affiliated companies.

2) PHOTO GALLERY: Inside QuikTrip's First Store Sans Gas
QuikTrip Corp., winner of the 2015 Convenience Store News Retailer Innovator of the Year award, is testing a non-fuel concept as part of the company’s long-term strategy to grow and serve non-traditional market segments. Located at the intersection of Peachtree and 6th streets in Atlanta, the new c-store sans gas is the first of its kind for QuikTrip since the late 1970s when the company tested a similar concept in its hometown of Tulsa, Okla.

3) Couche-Tard Deal Could Add Up for Executives at CST Brands
CST Brands Inc. executives could stand to benefit financially once the company is officially acquired by Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. in early 2017. CEO Kim Lubel could receive nearly $20 million in compensation, including $5.5 million in separation payments, with the rest coming from benefits and incentive plans and stock options, including previously restricted stock.

4) Couche-Tard Acquiring CST Brands in $4.4B Deal
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. is acquiring CST Brands Inc. in a $4.4-billion deal. The price tag equals $48.53 per share in cash. In all, the transaction value represents a premium of approximately 42 percent compared to CST's closing stock price on March 3, the last date prior to CST announcing that its board of directors began exploring strategic alternatives to further enhance stockholder value.

5) Cracker Barrel Exiting Business With Sale to Couche-Tard
Cracker Barrel is leaving the convenience store scene with the sale of its 53 sites to Circle K Stores Inc., a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.These convenience stores operate under the store brand Cracker Barrel and include 12 quick-service restaurants. All but one of the sites offer branded motor fuels under the Shell, Chevron or Cracker Barrel brand names.

6) Tobacco Analyst Breaks Down Possible Deeming Effects
Most of the tobacco industry agreed with the Food and Drug Administration's plan to regulate electronic cigarettes and vaping products. However, few are happy with the final deeming rule and its provisions. And just what impact the regulations have may depend on where you stand on the manufacturing scale.

7) Couche-Tard & CST Speak on Pending Merger
Calling it too good to pass up, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. CEO Brian P. Hannasch said acquiring CST Brands Inc. for $4.4 billion in its biggest merger and acquisition deal ever was an opportunity to add one of the few remaining North American convenience store chains that operates 1,000 store or more. “We believe it creates significant value for our shareholders in terms of significant earnings-per-share accretion and strong free cash generation, while giving us the capacity to continue to invest in the existing business,” he said.

8) Sheetz's New Sandbox: College Towns
After identifying and moving into new geographical targets over the past few years — notably North Carolina — Sheetz Inc. is making inroads with a new demographic, college students. The Altoona-based convenience retailer opened its first college-campus location at West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va. Since then, Sheetz has enrolled at other institutions of higher learning, including Penn State University in its backyard of State College, Pa.

9) No More Need to Guess About Guess Corp.'s C-store Plans
The Guess Corp. unveiled its design for its new convenience store/gas station properties. The stores will operate under the GP Express brand. The design is representative of the gas and convenience stores that the company's petroleum arm will build across the United States through new construction and acquisitions. Existing stores that are acquired will be renovated according to the new design.

10) Cumberland Farms Committed to Singular Focus
Leading the family business is not something Cumberland Farms Inc. CEO Ari Haseotes takes lightly as the job comes with its own unique challenges. Foremost is that there is more at stake than just the bottom line. Questions he consistently finds himself asking include: Is this an investment that, over the long term, will be a good one for the family? Are we making the right decision now for our people? Are we robbing the future to pay for something in the present?

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