Susser Now 'In the Box'

Texas chain completes acquisition of 25 Quick Stuff convenience stores

Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -- Susser Holdings Corp. completed its previously announced acquisition of 25 convenience stores located in Texas and Louisiana. Susser acquired the stores from Jack in the Box Inc., and each location is co-branded with a Jack in the Box restaurant, all of which are being retained by Jack in the Box Inc.

The acquisition includes leaseholds for 24 stores and the real-estate underlying one property. Twenty-three stores are located across Texas, and two are in Louisiana, Susser's first stores in the Pelican State.

"Texas is our sweet spot, but Texas [image-nocss] and the surrounding states is really our primary focus," Mary Sullivan, chief financial officer of Susser Holdings, told CSP Daily News when the acquisition was first announced in early August. "[This deal] does give us some different areas in Texas that we're not currently in, and then the two in Louisiana."

Of the 25 stores, it is anticipated that four to seven of the Texas stores will be operated by Susser's retail segment and will be rebranded to Susser's proprietary Stripes brand. It is also anticipated that the remaining 18 to 21 stores will be operated by independent dealers under long-term sublease and fuel supply agreements with Susser's wholesale fuel division. Sixteen of the 21 stores have already been converted to the dealer operation, including the one fee property.

"This transaction underscores the strategic importance of having a strong wholesale fuel business along with the retail platform," said Sam L. Susser, Susser Holdings' president and CEO.

The transaction was funded with cash and is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings. Terms were not disclosed.

For San Diego-based Jack in the Box, the deal is part of its efforts to exit the c-store industry by selling off its 61 Quick Stuff stores.

The Quick Stuff locations are each built adjacent to a full-size Jack in the Box restaurant, and each includes a major-brand fuel station. Sites are located in California, Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, Idaho, Washington and Illinois.

The units are about 2,000 square feet in size and are open 24 hours a day. The restaurant is connected to the Quick Stuff store by a common area that includes restroom facilities. They feature ATMs and fuel islands with four-to-six dispensers and pay-at-the-pump credit-card readers. Some locations also offer car washes.

The San Diego-based company does not intend to sell any of the Jack in the Box restaurants adjoining the Quick Stuff locations in connection with these transactions.

"The board and management of Jack in the Box agreed that by selling Quick Stuff, we can focus on maximizing the potential of our Jack in the Box and Qdoba brands," chairman and CEO Linda Lang said in a press release. "We appreciate the dedication of all of our Quick Stuff employees, and will look to them to assist in a smooth transition during this process."

In June, Jack in the Box announced it had entered into an agreement with an unnamed buyer to sell 55 of the 61 sites. It's not clear what happened to that deal or if/how it relates to the Susser purchase.

Corpus Christi, Texas-based Susser Holdings is a third-generation family-led business that operates more than 520 convenience stores in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma under the Stripes and Town & Country banners. Restaurant service is available in 300 of its stores, primarily under the proprietary Laredo Taco Co. and Country Cookin' brands. The company also supplies branded motor fuel to approximately 375 independent dealers through its wholesale fuel division.

Steve Holtz, CSP/Winsight By Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News
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