Thorntons Reportedly Exploring Possible Sale of C-store Chain

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A Thorntons convenience store

Thorntons Reportedly Exploring Possible Sale of C-store Chain

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Declining to comment on speculation, the convenience retailer says it "sees great growth ahead."

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — In a busy merger-and-acquisition year, reports out Thorntons Inc. as the next on the list; however, the convenience retailer declined to comment on speculation.

"While we don't comment on rumor or speculation, we see great growth ahead for Thorntons this year and in future years and we are very happy with our business," the company told CSNews Online.

Citing information from the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), the Courier Journal reported Thorntons is considering hanging a for-sale sign on the convenience store chain.

According to the report, the Louisville-based company retained investment banker Lazard to explore selling the retail operations. Thorntons operates 192 convenience stores in Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Florida.

Oil market analyst firm OPIS wrote that it confirmed with multiple sources that Lazard is showing a "book" on Thorntons. That typically details customer data and other closely held sales and marketing information, the news outlet reported.

"In a busy period for M&A, downstream retailers may soon find out how hot the market is for acquiring a 'New Era' station chain" as the "well regarded" Thorntons explores a sale, according to OPIS.

Founded in 1971 by James H. Thornton, the c-store chain is known for its Real Kitchen. Real Food. fresh food program and offering E15 at the pump under its trademarked Unleaded15 brand name.

A recent joint quarterly study by GasBuddy and Cuebiq found that Thorntons saw the most foot traffic among chains with 50 - 249 locations in the first three months of 2018, as CSNews Online previously reported.

In early spring, Thorntons held Thorntons Thursdays in a bid to find 100 new team members.