Mergers & Acquisitions

BP, ArcLight to Acquire Thorntons

Transaction follows sale speculation earlier this year
thorntons logo

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A newly formed joint venture of BP and ArcLight Capital Partners has reached an agreement to purchase Louisville, Ky.-based convenience-store retailer Thorntons Inc.

The joint venture partnership will accelerate Thorntons growth and expand its footprint, the companies said. They did not release the terms of the transaction. BP is participating as the minority partner in this non-operated joint venture, it said.

“This agreement complements BP’s U.S. retail business and is another step forward in the Fuels North America growth strategy,” the London-based company told CSP Daily News.

Subject to regulatory approval, the joint venture will continue to operate all existing stores under the Thorntons name and will retain Thorntons team members working out of the store support center in Louisville.

“My family and the Thorntons team are incredibly proud of the company we have built over the last 47 years. While we are proud of where we are today, our vision extends well beyond 191 stores in six states, and we know this new joint venture will help us to accelerate store growth and serve even more guests every day,” said Matt Thornton, chairman and CEO of Thorntons. “We are excited to begin this new chapter and are pleased that we are able to take these next steps in our hometown working with our existing team.”

Investment banker Lazard served as exclusive financial adviser to Thorntons in connection with this transaction. Vinson & Elkins LLP and Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs LLP served as legal advisers.

Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) reported in late May that Thorntons had retained Lazard to examine selling the company.

Boston-based ArcLight is a private-equity firm focused on energy infrastructure investments.

Founded in 1971, Thorntons operates 191 c-stores in six states: Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee. It is No. 42 on CSP's 2018 Top 202 ranking of c-store chains by number of company-owned retail outlets.


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