Wawa's CEO-Elect Applauds Anticipated Signing of JOBS Act

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Wawa's CEO-Elect Applauds Anticipated Signing of JOBS Act


WAWA, Pa. -- Wawa Inc.'s CEO-elect Christopher Gheysens will appear at one of the convenience chain's Delaware stores today to celebrate President Obama's planned signing of the JOBS Act, Philly.com reported. The future chief executive of the Pennsylvania-based c-store chain will be joined by U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), who sponsored a portion of the bill.

Despite its confusing name, the JOBS Act is designed to trim back what some called onerous business regulations designed to protect investors following the collapse of Enron in the early 2000s.

Wawa is among the businesses that would be most affected if the current regulations continue. Under the existing law, as a private company's number of shareholders grow, a company has to decide between becoming a public company or undergoing a massive reorganization.

Gheysens testified at a Senate hearing last year that if Wawa chose not to become a public company, its reorganization could cost as much as $40 million. As CSNews Online reported at the time, the CEO-elect -- who will replace current CEO Howard Stoeckel when he retires at the end of this year – said he much preferred to instead focus on "long-term results," such as the 600-store chain's

Gheysens told Philly.com that the expected passage of the JOBS Act would be huge because Wawa already tells its shareholders and members about its annual sales, profits, compensation and owner dividends, and does not want to pay the considerable fees required to provide additional quarterly reporting as a public company.

Sen. Carper was a co-sponsor of the "Private Company Flexibility and Growth Act" portion of the JOBS Act, which calls for an increase in the number of shareholders a private company can have -- from 500 to 2,000 -- before a company must file detailed financial data with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Wawa is not the only company cheering the potential passage of the JOBS Act. Gore-Tex maker W.L. Gore & Co. and supermarket retailer Wegmans Food Markets Inc. are also among the companies, like Wawa, that would be the most affected if the JOBS Act does not get signed into law.