GPM Buys 175 Stores: Report

Retailer mum on seller, other details while in MLP quiet period

Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News

GPM Investments Arko VPS

RICHMOND, Va. -- Executives at c-store retailer GPM Investments this week could not address reports that its parent company, Arko Holdings Ltd., has signed an agreement to purchase another 175 "filling stations, convenience stores and tobacco stores in the U.S. Midwest" to add to its growing store count.

According to a report in Israel's Globes newspaper, the Richmond, Va.-based company will have 950 stores upon completion of the deal.

The report does not say from whom the stores are being purchased. A separate report by Israel's Haaretz newspaper said there are three different sellers involved in the transaction.

GPM executives are in a quiet period as the company gears up for its master-limited-partnership (MLP) IPO spinoff and thus could not comment.

The deal follows the 161-store acquisition of Village Pantry and Next Door Stores from VPS Convenience Store Group LLC in June and the purchase of 42 Road Ranger c-stores in March.

Assuming that the company completes this new deal, GPM will have 950 gas stations in 16 U.S. states on the East Coast, in the Southeast and in the Midwest, said Globes.

The first stage of the agreement includes the purchase of 125 sites for gas stations and convenience stores at a cost of $27 million to $29 million. In the second stage, GPM has an option to buy the remaining sites at an undisclosed price, which is slated to be set within 45 days of the completion of the first part of the deal.

With this transaction, Arko Holdings, controlled by Arie Kotler and Morris Willner, is continuing its development of its principal business, GPM, the report said.

Arko said that the company is "continuing its business strategy aimed at reinforcing GPM's business and consolidating its position as one of the leading companies in its field in the U.S."

In early September, Arko announced that GPM had submitted a fourth draft prospectus to the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), indicating that the company had already obtained investment commitments totaling up to $220 million.

Richmond, Va.-based GPM operates or supplies stores in Virginia, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky. It has more than 220 convenient Fas Mart (163) and Shore Stop (58) locations.

In August 2013, GPM acquired a 264-store group, which included the Scotchman, Young’s, Li’l Cricket, Everyday Shop, BreadBox and Cigarette City stores. They are now a division of the company called GPM Southeast, located in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. In early 2015, GPM began operating eight One Stop Stores in North Carolina and South Carolina that were previously owned by Arey Oil. The stores have been rebranded as Scotchman and are also a part of GPM Southeast.

GPM has now expanded into the Midwest after taking ownership of 42 Road Ranger convenience stores with gasoline sales. These stores are located in Illinois, Iowa and Kentucky and make up the newest division of the company: GPM Midwest.

Click here to view the full Globes report.

Part of CSP's 2015 Convenience Top 101 retailers
Steve Holtz, CSP/Winsight By Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News
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