Everything Sold Is New Again
As MLPs take a back seat in 2017, store-centric mindsets retake M&A
Convenience retailers may remember 2017 as the year they took back the wheel—at least in terms of M&A. While oil companies and financially rewired rollups—mostly in the form of master limited partnerships (MLPs)—brokered mammoth transactions just two to three years ago, some of convenience retail’s biggest names locked down this year’s most notable deals.
“There were a half-dozen real big players before,” says Dennis Ruben, executive managing director of NRC Realty & Capital Advisors LLC, Chicago. “Now 7-Eleven and Couche-Tard are the two big dogs on the block.”
Of course, Ruben is referring to Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven’s purchase of 1,100 Sunoco stores earlier this year and Laval, Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard’s claim to the 522-site, Bloomington, Minn.-based Holiday Stationstores in July.
What follows is an in-depth review of the year’s most high-profile deals—and in some cases, deals that never happened—from the vantage point of CSP’s newly updated ranking of the top 40 c-store chains.