Gas City Sale Update

Thorntons, banks pick up vacant properties as bankruptcy sale winds down

FRANKFORT, Ill. -- Gas station operator Thorntons Inc. is poised to pick up vacant land in Frankfort, Ill., owned by Gas City, according to a report by The Chicago Sun-Times. It was one of four parcels auctioned off by Gas City, which is in bankruptcy.

(Click here for previous CSP Daily News coverage of the Gas City bankruptcy.)At an auction last week, Thorntons bid $1.25 million for five acres, said the report. That edged out a bid of $1.2 million for the property from Speedway LLC, which this spring bought 23 Gas City outlets in the Chicago area.

Other vacant land auctioned by Gas City was acquired by banks owed money by the company, the report said.

Thorntons and Speedway had submitted bids for a 2.3-acre lot in New Lenox, Ill., but the highest bid, $1.78 million, came from MB Financial Bank, the newspaper said. MB placed what is called a credit bid--not actually putting up money, but rather an amount it is owed by Gas City.

The Sun-Times said that First Midwest Bank submitted a successful credit bid of $1.5 million for the largest parcel auctioned--46 acres in Homer Glen, Ill.

Suburban Bank & Trust's credit bid of $350,000 was the highest for a three-acre parcel in Frankfort, Ill., added the report.

Attorneys for Gas City will ask a federal official overseeing the bankruptcy case to approve the property sales.

Prior to filing bankruptcy, Gas City was a family-owned and -operated petroleum marketer and c-store chain with 50 locations (including nine Steel City truckstops) in northeast Illinois, northwest Indiana, Florida and Arizona. The company was founded in Chicago in 1966 by William J. McEnery.