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Arko Rising

GPM Investments, Haymaker Acquisition, Arko Holdings close business combination
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NEW YORK — Haymaker Acquisition Corp. II, a publicly traded special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), and Arko Holdings Ltd., an Israeli public holding company the primary asset of which is a controlling stake in convenience-store company GPM Investments LLC, have completed their business combination and have combined under a new company, Arko Corp.

Shareholders of both companies have approved the business combination. Shares of Arko common stock and Arko warrants are now trading on Nasdaq under the symbols ARKO and ARKOW, respectively.

“Today marks an important milestone as we drive the next chapter of our growth as a U.S.-listed public company,” Arie Kotler, CEO of Arko, said. “We operate in an attractive and highly fragmented industry and have built a proven platform for acquisitions, as demonstrated by our successful track record of closing transactions. In combination with our attractive remodel program, and the compelling organic growth opportunities we are executing against, we look forward to building on the success we have driven to date and delivering value for all of our stakeholders.”

GPM operates in three segments: retail, which consists of fuel and merchandise sales to retail consumers; wholesale, which supplies fuel to third-party dealers and consignment agents; and GPM Petroleum, which supplies fuel to GPM and its subsidiaries selling fuel in the retail and wholesale segments, as well as to subwholesalers and bulk purchasers.

Founded in 2003 with 169 c-stores, the Richmond, Va.-based company now has approximately 3,000 locations comprised of approximately 1,350 company-operated stores and 1,600 dealer sites to which it supplies fuel, in 33 states and Washington D.C. Its brands include Fas Mart, Shore Stop, Scotchman, BreadBox, Young's, Li'l CricketNext Door Store, Village PantryApple MarketJiffi StopAdmiralRoadrunner MarketsJiffy Food MartsE-Z Mart1 Stop and TownStar.

“We are planning on keeping all of our community brands underneath our [new] company,” said Kotler. Arko will have a new logo and a new slogan: “A family of community brands.”

“Arie and his talented team have established a proven platform for growth that will be further strengthened by this combination and enhanced by the planned multi-year remodel and other organic initiatives,” said Steven Heyer and Andrew Heyer of Haymaker. “We are looking forward to seeing the team capitalize on the attractive opportunities that lie ahead through established strategic initiatives that are underway.”

A combination of cash in Haymaker’s trust account and a private placement investment of $100 million in convertible preferred stock from affiliates of MSD Partners LP funded the business combination for a total amount of $295 million.   

St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Raymond James & Associates Inc. served as lead financial and capital markets advisor.

Haymaker was a $400 million blank-check company formed for the purpose of entering into a merger, capital stock exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses. Its acquisition and value creation strategy was to identify, acquire and, after its initial business combination, build a company in the consumer, retail, media or hospitality industries.

MSD Partners LP is a New York-based investment adviser formed in 2009 to enable investment strategies developed by MSD Capital, which exclusively manages the capital of Michael Dell and family. MSD Partners uses a multi-disciplinary investment strategy focused on maximizing long-term capital appreciation by making investments across the globe in the equities of public and private companies, credit, real estate and other asset classes and securities.

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