NATIONAL REPORT — Convenience store operators spent 2023 forging ahead in their plans for growth and expansion across the channel, seeing some of the most blockbuster trades of the year.
In the most notable deal, bp closed on its $1.3 billion acquisition of TravelCenters of America Inc. (TA), while 7-Eleven International LLC (7IN) inked a deal to 7-Eleven Australia for $1.1 billion.
Merger-and-acquisition (M&A) activity among fuel distributors also made headlines. In one deal, Chevron Corp. inked a deal to acquire Hess Corp. for a whopping $53 billion, while RaceTrac Inc.'s wholly owned wholesale fuel supply and trading subsidiary, Metroplex Energy, picked up Gulf Oil LLC earlier this month.
Here are the top 10 M&A deals of 2023:
1. BP & TravelCenters of America Merger Becomes Official
2023's first major-and-acquisition deal saw Houston-based bp pick up TA for $1.3 billion. The deal, which closed on May 15, added 280-plus locations to bp's network, complementing its off-highway convenience and mobility business.
2. 7-Eleven International LLC Inks $1.1B Acquisition Deal
7IN agreed to acquire 7-Eleven Australia, the largest independent convenience store chain in Australia. As part of the agreement, 7IN will acquire 100 percent of the shares of 7-Eleven Australia for A$1.71 billion ($1.1 billion) in cash. 7IN is a joint venture between 7-Eleven Inc. and Seven-Eleven Japan Co. Ltd., which are owned by the holding company, Seven & i Holdings Co. Ltd. It formed in February 2022.
3. MAPCO Express Officially Split Between Two New Owners
MAPCO Express Inc.'s portfolio officially split in two on Nov. 1 as Majors Management LLC and Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. closed on their acquisitions of the company's assets in separate transactions. Previously a subsidiary of COPEC, a leading South America-based retail company, MAPCO operates more than 300 convenience stores across Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, Kentucky and Mississippi.
4. Chevron to Buy Hess in $53B Deal
Chevron Corp. is acquiring Hess Corp. Under the definitive agreement announced Oct. 23, Chevron acquire all the outstanding shares of Hess in an all-stock transaction valued at $53 billion, or $171 per share based on Chevron's closing price on Oct. 20.
5. Maverik Completes Acquisition of Kum & Go
The convenience store chain completed its acquisition of Kum & Go, operator of 400-plus stores in 13 states, on Aug. 29. The deal also includes tank truck carrier and logistics provider Solar Transport from the Krause Group. The transaction grows Maverik's footprint to more than 800 stores in 20 states with approximately 14,000 team members.
6. RaceTrac Completes Gulf Oil Acquisition
RaceTrac Inc.'s wholly owned wholesale fuel supply and trading subsidiary, Metroplex Energy, closed on its acquisition of Gulf Oil on Dec. 14. As part of the transaction, which made headlines in July, RaceTrac acquired Gulf's iconic brand in the United States and Puerto Rico, all Gulf-branded distributor and license agreements comprising approximately 1,100 branded sites, as well as exclusive rights to market fuel at eleven Massachusetts Turnpike service plaza locations.
7. SQRL Buys 200-Plus Convenience Stores
SQRL Fuel Stations announced a major expansion through its recent acquisition of 210 locations in various regions of the country. SQRL did not disclose the name of the stores' seller. The deal brings SQRL's total store count to 350-plus sites across 14 states.
8. Love's Travel Stops Completes Acquisition of EZ GO Convenience Stores
Love's Travel Stops picked up EZ GO c-stores from Carey Johnson Oil Co. Inc. As part of the transaction, Love's acquired six travel stops located on Oklahoma turnpikes and five on the Kansas turnpike, in addition to 11 c-stores in Oklahoma and Nebraska. This is the first time Love's footprint will include locations on a turnpike, and is part of the company's commitment to add stores in areas of high demand.
9. Alimentation Couche-Tard Secures Approval to Close Major European Expansion
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. received a decision not to oppose from the European Commission for the acquisition of certain European retail assets from TotalEnergies SE, which was previously announced on March 16. Couche-Tard anticipates closing the deal this month. The acquisition includes a total of 2,193 sites.
10. EG Group Inks $1.5B Sale-Leaseback Pact for Select U.S. C-store Assets
EG Group entered into a sale-leaseback agreement for a portfolio of 415 sites to Realty Income Corp. for gross consideration of approximately $1.5 billion. Its Westborough, Mass.-based EG America subsidiary will continue to operate and trade the portfolio, which comprises store assets under the Cumberland Farms, Fastrac, Tom Thumb and Sprint banners.