Casey's Not Selling, It's Buying

Midwestretailer acquires all of Holiday Stationstores' locations in Iowa, Nebraska

Greg Lindenberg, Editor, CSP

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. & ANKENY, Iowa The 10 convenience store locations in Iowa and Nebraska that Casey's General Stores Inc. has purchased from Holiday Stationstores represent a de facto exit from those two states for Bloomington, Minn.-based Holiday. As reported in a Morgan Keegan/CSP Daily News Flash yesterday, the Nebraska stores are in Columbus, Grand Island (2), Kearney, Norfolk and Omaha. The Iowa stores are in Denison, Spencer and Waterloo (2).

The deal comes on the heels of Casey's rejection of a hostile takeover bid by Laval, Quebec-based Alimentation [image-nocss] Couche-Tard Inc. (Click here for previous coverage, and see a related story in this issue of CSP Daily News.)

Bill Walljasper, senior vice president and chief financial officer for Casey's, told CSP Daily News that Casey's plans to finalize the purchase agreement April 19.

Bob Nye, spokesperson for Holiday, a privately held company, declined to comment to CSP Daily News on the deal or the strategy behind it.

Walljasper said Holiday wanted to sell the 10 stores in Iowa and Nebraska as a package. "We evaluated all 10 of the locations and their performances," Walljasper told the newspaper. "They seemed to fit the demographics of a Casey's community. We felt that purchasing them was a good, strategic fit for the company."

"We are mostly familiar with those communities, or have stores surrounding those communities. So it's a very good tuck-in acquisition for us, he told CSP Daily News.

According to Holiday's website, the sites acquired by Casey's are the only ones the company operates in Iowa and Nebraska.

Walljasper said that after April 19, the company "will start to convert [the stores] over to Casey's General Stores and start the process of implementing our foodservice in those storesnot all of them, because there is some overlap. But most of those stores will look to put prepared food in."

Two stores that are near to other Casey's locations "aren't slated for prepared foods that you typically would have in our stores," Walljasper told CSP Daily News.

The Denison Holiday station will be operated as a Casey's store, reported The Denison Bulletin Review. Walljasper told the paper that the company will continue to evaluate its performance after the change in ownership. "Anytime you have two stores in close proximity, you want to be cognizant of the effect on the community," he said.

Other foods, such as packaged foods, that are already available at Holiday will continue to be sold at that location, said the report.

Walljasper added that the change in ownership would involve no staffing changes and that the two stores in Denison would retain separate managers. "We will continue to run the Holiday station with a few small modifications," he told the Bulletin Review.

The fuel sold at the Holiday station will switch to Casey's fuel, which is unbranded, the report said.

Holiday Stationstores has 300 corporately owned c-stores located throughout 12 states in the northern tier region of the United States: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and Washington, as well as in Alaska.Ankeny, Iowa-based Casey's owns and operates more than 1,500 c-stores in nine Midwestern states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.