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03/23/2021

Marathon Petroleum Pushes Speedway Sale to Second Quarter of 2021

Inside a Speedway convenience store

FINDLAY, Ohio — Industry watchers waiting for Speedway LLC to officially change hands will have to wait a little longer.

In August, Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC) reached an agreement to sell the Enon-based convenience store chain to 7-Eleven Inc. for $21 billion. As part of the agreement, Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven — a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Seven & i Holdings Co. Ltd. — will acquire approximately 3,900 Speedway stores located in 35 states

The deal was slated to close in the first quarter of 2021, and a timeline MPC was still targeting in early February, as Convenience Store News previously reported.

However, in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company is now pushing the timeline to early in the second quarter.

"The company has previously referenced the first quarter of 2021 as the target for closing the transaction but now is targeting closing early in the second quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions and the receipt of regulatory approvals," MPC said in the filing. "7-Eleven and the company continue to engage productively with the Federal Trade Commission [FTC] in its review of the transaction."

Earlier this month, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters sent a letter to the FTC asking the agency to pause its review of the sale, which also includes a 15-year fuel supply agreement between MPC and 7-Eleven.

"Effectively, this agreement duplicates vertical integration — minus any efficiencies — and thus may provide an incentive for Marathon to raise wholesale prices to competing retailers," President James Hoffa wrote. "With gas prices now on a steep rise to nearly $3 a gallon in most states, the FTC should exercise its full authority to ensure that the Marathon/7-Eleven supply agreement will neither limit competitors' ability to buy fuel nor stick customers with sky-high costs to refill their gas tanks to get to and from work and school."

The transaction would grow 7-Eleven's network to more than 13,000 c-stores — more than double the size of the nearest competitor, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.'s Circle K banner, according to Hoffa, who added the rest of industry is mostly made up of individually owned stores.

Based in Findlay, MPC is an integrated downstream energy company that operates the nation's largest refining system. MPC's marketing system includes branded locations across the United States, including Marathon-brand retail outlets. Speedway LLC, an MPC subsidiary, owns and operates retail convenience stores across the United States. MPC also owns the general partner and majority limited partner interest in MPLX LP, a midstream company.