Bankrupt Chain Auctions Off 21 C-Stores

GPM continues growth into the Midwest with latest acquisition

Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News

A GasMart USA site in Machesney, Ill.

A GasMart USA site in Machesney, Ill.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Gas-Mart USA Inc. continued the selloff of its convenience-store business with 21 locations auctioned off this month.

GPM Investments LLC signed an agreement Feb. 8 to acquire 21 convenience stores in Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska from Gas-Mart USA and its affiliates, as reported in a McLane Co./CSP Daily News Flash. The acquisition, part of a court-ordered auction, will continue GPM’s c-store growth deep into the Midwest. The winning bid was for $6.975 million, according to court documents. The second-place bidder was an entity identified as CF United Holdings LLC/Lion Petroleum Inc.

"We are thrilled to continue our path of expansion, and we view the acquisition of these stores as a very important part of our growth plan,” said GPM president and CEO Arie Kotler. “We have enjoyed serving our loyal customers in Illinois and Iowa, and we look forward to making these locations a new part of the GPM family, in addition to adding a store in Nebraska, near the Iowa border.”

Gas-Mart USA, Overland Park, Kansas, and three affiliates filed for bankruptcy protection in Missouri court in July 2015, in what was ruled a "complex" case by the court. At the time, the company cited more than $40 million in debt.

Prior to the bankruptcy filing, Gas-Mart USA sold 19 of its locations in Missouri and Kansas to TravelCenters of America LLC, Westlake, Ohio. Gas-Mart USA still owns 22 c-store sites in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, according to court documents.

The GPM Investments acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016. GPM said it anticipates extending an offer to the existing operations employees of the acquired stores to join the GPM family.

GPM, a Richmond, Va.-based retailer with more than 750 convenience stores, made a major move into the Midwest in its purchase of 161 Village Pantry and Next Door Store convenience stores with gasoline sales in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Illinois from VPS Convenience Store Group LLC in a deal first announced in February.

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