Wilson Farms To Sell Chain To 7-Eleven

"Our company and our team are built for growth, we would atrophy if we weren't able to keep pursuing growth opportunities."

— Sam L. susser, Susser Holdings Corp. (see page 22)

Due to rising bean prices, JM Smucker raised the price of its Folgers Coffee by 10 percent.

Source: The Hartman Group

The N.Y.-based chain of 188 stores will be remodeled to 7-Eleven, including proprietary items

WFI Acquisition Inc., led by the Nanula family and Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co. LLC, executed an agreement for the sale of its 188 Wilson Farms locations in New York to 7-Eleven Inc., the company reported.

"Wilson Farms has been a successful convenience chain serving customers and communities in the New York area for over 40 years," Paul Nanula, president and CEO of Wilson Farms, said in a released statement. "The WFI group has owned the brand for the past six years, making significant progress in growing the business. It is a testament to the entire employee base of Wilson Farms and the business that we operate that 7-Eleven was interested in acquiring our chain.

"On behalf of our 2,500 associates, I'd like to thank our loyal customers for their patronage and continued support. I am confident that these stores will continue to serve the public, and that the winning combination of 7-Eleven and Wilson Farms will further strengthen the convenience offering for our customers," Nanula continued.

In a separate statement, 7-Eleven said the addition of Wilson Farms significantly increases the brand's presence in the western New York area. Upon closing, which is expected in the second quarter, 7-Eleven will assume responsibility for all Wilson Farms locations and personnel from the WFI Group, which is led by Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co., a private-equity firm, and the Nanula family, which together have managed the stores since 2005.

"Wilson Farms has a successful store operation, quality locations and a strong customer-service culture," stated Stan Reynolds, 7-Eleven's executive vice president and CFO. "The combination of the two companies will strengthen our convenience offering in the western New York area."

7-Eleven said it will invest in remodeling the acquired stores, adding proprietary beverages such as Big Gulp fountain and Slurpee drinks, coffee service and fresh foods. Local contractors will be hired for the remodeling program to begin later this year. Additionally, the company will introduce its proprietary retail information system to the Wilson Farms stores to provide store personnel with leading technology to serve their customers' needs.

BMO Capital Markets acted as exclusive financial advisor to Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co. and the Nanula family in the sale of Wilson Farms Inc. to 7-Eleven Inc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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