Uni-Marts Sale Progressing

With many potential bidders, Matrix looking for new stalking horse

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Matrix Capital Markets Group Inc., which is handling the auctioning off of 210 Uni-Marts convenience stores, said that progress on the sale "continues to go exceptionally well," with more than 230 potential bidders signed up; however, Tri-Color Holdings LLC, the majority owner of the Uni-Mart chain, was not approved by the court as the stalking-horse bidder, Tom Kelso, managing director for Matrix, told CSP Daily News.

The State College, Pa.-based retailer filed for bankruptcy in late May 2008. A purchase contract between Uni-Marts and Wayne, Pa.-based Atlantis Petroleum previously selected to complete the acquisition of the assets expired without a transaction being consummated.

Uni-Marts elected to remarket the assets or equity of the reorganized debtor in a process managed by Richmond, Va.-based Matrix.
Stalking-horse status would have given State College-based Tri-Color an advantage with the right to set the bidding bar and to top the highest bid as the process moves forward. "We are in the process of working with Tri-Color and multiple other parties to finalize a stalking-horse bid," Kelso said. "We continue to review stalking-horse proposals including a revised one from Tri-Color with a goal of selecting a stalking-horse bidder and filing a motion for approval of the stalking horse by August 8."

Earlier this month, Matrix announced that minimum bids had been established in the Uni-Marts Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. Each of Uni-Marts' 114 company-operated stores is available for sale on an individual basis and the minimum bids range from $2,500 to $342,000 for leased stores and $50,000 to $1,695,000 for stores where Uni-Marts owns the real estate. The aggregate minimum bid of all the company-operated assets is $13,565,000. These assets generated $7.2 million in EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) on fuels volume of 70.6 million gallons and $87.6 million in merchandise sales for the most recent 52-week period. The aggregate of the minimum bids for all of Uni-Marts' assets was set at $15,708,000.

The bid deadline for the Uni-Mart properties is Thursday, August 13, with a live auction of qualified bidders to take place in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, August 18.

More information is posted at www.matrixcapitalonline.com.

Click here for previous CSP Daily News coverage of Uni-Marts' bankruptcy.