Thorntons Being Acquired by Joint Venture Between BP & ArcLight Capital

Thorntons storefront

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Thorntons Inc. will be acquired by a joint venture between affiliates of ArcLight Capital Partners and BP in order to grow in the downstream refined products segment, the convenience store chain announced Dec. 3.

All existing c-stores will continue to operate under the Thorntons name. The joint venture will also retain Thorntons employees working out of the company's Store Support Center in Louisville.

"My family and the Thorntons team are incredibly proud of the company we have built over the last 47 years. While we are proud of where we are today, our vision extends well beyond 191 stores in six states and we know this new joint venture will help us to accelerate store growth and serve even more guests every day," said Matt Thornton, chairman and CEO of Thorntons. "We are excited to begin this new chapter and are pleased that we are able to take these next steps in our hometown working with our existing team. This partnership is a win-win for everyone involved."

ArcLight previously ventured into the convenience industry by purchasing Gulf Oil LP through its affiliate Chelsea Petroleum Products Holdings LLC from Cumberland Farms Inc. The acquisition closed in late December 2015, as Convenience Store News previously reported. At the same time, ArcLight affiliate Blue Hills Fuels LLC acquired Gulf's Assured Dealers business.

The Thorntons acquisition is subject to government review and regulatory approval. Terms of the private transaction were not disclosed.

Lazard deserves as Thorntons' exclusive financial advisor in connection with the deal. Vinson & Elkins LLP and Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs LLP served as legal advisors.

Founded by James H. Thornton in 1971, Louisville-based Thorntons operates 191 c-stores in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee. The company's mission is to provide top of the line food and beverages while making giving back a top priority in every market.