Mergers & Acquisitions

Arclight Acquires Pride C-Stores in Massachusetts

Energy-focused private equity firm buys 31 locations
pride convenience stores

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Private equity firm Arclight Capital Partners LLC has acquired The Pride Gas Station and Convenience Store chain in western Massachusetts, reported Western Mass News. The sale includes 31 stores in Massachusetts and Connecticut, as well as 10 development sites.

The chain was put up for sale in June. The companies finalized the deal on Dec. 31, said a report by WWLP. They did not disclose the transaction’s price tag.

“The Pride stores are high-quality sites with a history of exceptional performance. Their progress into electrical vehicle charging infrastructure will be a great fit with ArcLight’s energy transition focus,” said Collin Krehbiel, vice president at Boston-based ArcLight. “We look forward to working and growing with the entire Pride team.”

ArcLight will continue to use the Pride name. Marsha Medina, Pride’s president for the last 10 years, will act as president and chief executive officer of Pride.

ArcLight is focused on energy infrastructure investments. In late 2018, the firm formed a joint venture with London-based BP to purchase Louisville, Ky.-based convenience-store retailer Thorntons Inc. BP bought out Arclight in 2021 and took full ownership of Thorntons’ more than 200 c-stores in six states, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Florida.

At a news conference at the company’s Springfield, Mass., headquarters, owner Bob Bolduc said it was time to sell the company, the reports said, and that no one in his family had an interest in taking it over. The new owner will not change the Pride name, he said, and all employees will remain in place. Bolduc will serve on the Pride board and said he wants the chain to continue to expand. Boldic currently serves as chairman of the National Association of Truck Stop Operators (NATSO).

“I think that's quite a compliment to our staff, to my team here, that this company has entrusted them to take over,” Bolduc told the media. “The public, I hope, will not see a difference in terms of service and in terms of all the benefits Pride has.”

Bolduc said the sale had seven serious bidders. “They were all either national chains or very large regional chains that were strongly interested, and it wasn't that difficult to pick, because this company wanted to keep everybody in place and not everybody wanted to do that, and most of all, I want to take care of my employees,” he said at the news conference.

“They have been so loyal to me over the years, I just had to repay that loyalty,” he said.

In 2017, Pride Stores reached the milestone of its 100th anniversary as a business. Known originally as Orchard Garage, Bolduc Bros. Proprietors, it started as a livery stable for horses and carriages in 1917. Bolduc’s grandfather repaired horse-drawn carriages. The family then began repairing automobiles, and Bolduc was among the first in the state to start a self-service gas station. Robert Bolduc founded the Pride c-store and truckstop chain in 1972.

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