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Year in Review: The Top M&A Deals of 2013


JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- 2013 proved to be another active year for mergers and acquisitions in the convenience store industry.

7-Eleven Inc. kicked off the year with news that it increased its footprint in the San Antonio market with the acquisition of 143 Speedy Stop and Tigermarket retail sites from C.L. Thomas Inc. The deal added to 7-Eleven's growing fuel wholesale-delivery business because the acquisition included gasoline distribution to approximately 150 dealer-operated sites.

Sunoco Inc. also made headlines with its purchase of Mid-Atlantic Convenience Stores (MACS) from private equity firm Catterton Partners. The deal gave Sunoco 301 convenience stores and gas stations in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and Washington, D.C., including 71 company-owned stores and 230 dealer-operated sites.

In a move that did not surprise anyone, Tesco plc bowed out of the U.S. market with the sale of its Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market chain. The London-based retailer sold roughly 150 stores to The Yucaipa Cos. A production facility in Riverside, Calif., where the company produces its private-label items, was also included in the deal.

GPM Investments LLC also entered the M&A arena with the acquisition of VPS Convenience Store Group's Southeast division. The deal ushered in a new division for the company, GPM Southeast LLC, based in Wilmington, N.C. GPM Southeast serves under the same leadership as GPM Investments. In addition, GPM Southeast retained employees of VPS' Southeast division.

The GPM Southeast division is composed of 263 company-operated units, plus 33 dealer locations. Retail brands included in the deal were Scotchman, Young's, Li'l Cricket, Everyday Shop, Breadbox and Cigarette City. GPM Southeast foodservice is made up of 26 branded quick-service restaurant locations plus 46 proprietary delis.

Most recently, Western Refining Inc. boosted its convenience store count when it bought a stake in SuperAmerica parent company Northern Tier Energy LP. With the move, Western Refining's retail holdings grew to an integrated network of 458 c-stores.

Western Refining entered into the definitive agreement with Northern Tier's private equity sponsors, ACON Investments LLC and TPG. It acquired all of their interests in Northern Tier Energy, including those of the general partner for total consideration of $775 million, plus the distribution on the common units acquired with respect to the quarter ended Sept. 30.

As a result of this transaction, Western Refining now owns 100 percent of the general partner interest and 38.7 percent of Northern Tier. The balance of the limited partner units will remain publicly traded.


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