DALLAS -- Empire Petroleum Partners LLC’s asset purchase agreement with Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.’s Circle K Stores Inc. and CST Brands Inc. to acquire 70 Corner Store gas stations “represents the largest acquisition in the company’s history,” said Nandit Gandhi, chairman of Empire’s board of managers. It also allows the fuels wholesale distributor to enter a new state, Arizona.
Following a review by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Couche-Tard agreed earlier this week to sell a portfolio of 71 properties to Empire to satisfy compliance with regulatory requirements associated with its own acquisition of CST Brands Inc.
As reported in a CSP Daily News Flash, to facilitate Empire’s purchase of the convenience stores from Couche-Tard, Getty Realty Corp. has entered into an agreement providing acquisition leaseback funding to Empire, which will acquire fee-simple interests in 49 c-store and gas-station properties for $123 million under a unitary lease.
The acquisition of these Corner Store locations will expand Empire’s geographic reach, adding to its presence in six states where the company has existing operations, including Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas, as well as new entrance into Arizona.
“Empire’s team partnered with Circle K to complete an expeditious and effective process to solidify this compelling deal with numerous strategic benefits. The transaction also signals a considerable stride forward as Empire successfully executes on its acquisition goals, delivering meaningful U.S. expansion, along with increased scale and synergies, to significantly enhance our competitive position as a leading U.S. motor fuels distributor,” Gandhi said.
“As consolidation continues in the motor-fuel and convenience-store industry, we remain focused on driving Empire’s rapid growth trajectory to become one of the largest and most formidable wholesale motor fuel distributors in the U.S. [This] asset acquisition represents a significant step on that path and is expected to greatly add to the financial strength of the company,” he said. “Looking ahead, we intend to continue to make strategic acquisitions as a part of our strategy to drive consistent, profitable growth and position Empire for even greater success in the future.”
The companies said they expect to complete the transaction, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval, this summer.
Laval, Quebec-based Couche-Tard's network includes 8,081 convenience stores throughout North America, including 6,710 stores selling motor fuel, mostly under the Circle K, Kangaroo Express, Mac's and Couche-Tard banners. Its North American network consists of 15 business units, including 11 in the United States covering 41 states and four in Canada covering all 10 provinces.
CST Brands, San Antonio, has more than 2,000 locations throughout the southwestern United States, Georgia, Florida, New York and Eastern Canada.
Dallas-based Empire distributes motor-fuel brands, including Shell, Chevron, Texaco, Valero, Sunoco, BP, ExxonMobil, CITGO, Marathon, Gulf and Phillips 66. It distributes more than 1.1 billion gallons of motor-fuel products to more than 1,500 gas stations in 29 states and the District of Columbia.