The Pantry Announces Layoffs

As it closes merger deal with Couche-Tard, retailer cuts 250 jobs

By 
Greg Lindenberg, Editor, CSP

The Pantry Kangaroo Express Couche-Tard (CSP Daily News / Convenience Stores / Gas Stations)

CARY, N.C. -- On the same day convenience-store chain The Pantry Inc. closed on its buyout by Circle K parent Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., the Cary, N.C.-based company laid off 250 employees, according to a mandatory filing with the North Carolina Department of Commerce obtained by CSP Daily News.

Laval, Quebec-based Couche-Tard first announced the deal with The Pantry on Dec. 18, 2014, for approximately $860 million. The all-cash transaction is valued at $36.75 per share, with a total enterprise value of approximately $1.7 billion including debt.

"This letter is being issued in accordance with the Worker Adjustment & Retraining Notification Act (WARN) in order to notify you that The Pantry Inc. is downsizing it facilities located [in] Cary, N.C., and [in] Sanford, N.C., beginning on march 16, 2015," the March 13 filing said. "This will result in the layoff of approximately 250 employees over an 18-month period. Affected employees will be from all areas of the business."

The filing continued, "The downsizing is related to the merger of The Pantry with a subsidiary of Alimentation Couche-Tard. Upon consummation of the merger, Couche-Tard will be creating greater efficiencies by consolidating various job functions in other areas of the company."

The Pantry employed 250 people in Cary and 250 people in Sanford, N.C., its former headquarters location, said a report by The News & Observer. The filing did not specify how many jobs would be lost at each site.

In connection with the merger, each member of The Pantry's board of directors voluntarily resigned from the board, said a separate report by The Triangle Business Journal. Company executives, including Dennis Hatchell, also stepped down from their positions, receiving "golden parachutes."

Couche-Tard appointed Darrell Davis, president, and Kathy Cunnington, vice president, shared services North America treasurer, on March 16 following the removal of The Pantry executives, the report said.

The Pantry is a leading independently operated convenience-store chain in the southeastern United States and one of the largest independently operated convenience-store chains in the country. As of Jan. 29, 2015, the company operated 1,509 convenience stores in 13 states under select banners, including Kangaroo Express, its primary operating banner.

Couche-Tard operates a network of more than 6,300 convenience stores throughout North America. Its North American network consists of 13 business units, including nine in the United States (under the Circle K brand) in 40 states and four business units in Canada (under the Mac's and Couche-Tard brands) covering all 10 provinces.

Click here to view the full Triangle Business Journal report. And click here to view the full News & Observer report.

Part of CSP's 2015 Convenience Top 101 retailers