Mergers & Acquisitions

Casey’s Must Sell 6 Stores to Acquire Bucky’s: FTC

Agency requires divestitures as condition of deal to preserve competition in 7 local fuel markets
casey's bucky's

ANKENY, Iowa — Casey’s General Stores Inc., which in November said it would acquire Buchanan Energy, owner of Bucky’s Convenience Stores, in an all-cash transaction for $580 million, has agreed along with Buck’s Intermediate Holdings LLC and Steven Buchanan to divest retail fuel assets in select local gasoline and diesel fuel markets across two states to settle Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges that Casey’s proposed acquisition would violate federal antitrust law.

Buck’s Intermediate Holdings, or Buchanan Energy, is a family-owned chain of fuel outlets and c-stores based in Omaha, Neb. The company operates 56 Bucky's locations in Illinois and 26 in Nebraska, as well as five in Iowa, four in Texas and three in Missouri.

Under the terms of the proposed consent order, the FTC is requiring Casey’s to divest six retail fuel outletsthree Casey’s outlets and three Bucky’s outletsto Western Oil II LLC, Valentine, Neb., and its affiliate Danco II LLC within 10 days after Casey’s completes the acquisition. Western Oil is an experienced operator and supplier of retail fuel sites and will be a new entrant into the local markets, the FTC said.

Based in Ankeny, Iowa, Casey’s operates retail fuel outlets and convenience stores in 16 Midwestern states, primarily Iowa, Missouri and Illinois.

Casey’s acquisition of Buchanan Energy will include 94 retail stores and 79 dealer locations, as well as multiple parcels of real estate for future new-store construction, which will increase Casey’s footprint by 4% to more than 2,300 stores.

According to the complaint, markets for retail gasoline and retail diesel fuel are highly localized, and no economic or practical alternative to the retail sale of gasoline or diesel fuel exists. The complaint alleges that Casey’s acquisition of Bucky’s, as proposed, would harm competition for the retail sale of gasoline in and around seven local markets in Omaha and Papillion, Neb., and Council Bluffs, Iowa, and the retail sale of diesel fuel in four local markets in and around Omaha and Papillion.

The complaint alleges that without a remedy, the acquisition would reduce the number of competitors to three or fewer in these seven local markets. One of the Casey’s outlets in Omaha serves two of the seven local markets.

In addition to requiring outlet divestitures, the proposed order requires Casey’s and Bucky’s to provide the FTC notice before acquiring retail fuel assets within a fixed distance of any Casey’s outlet in a market involving a divestiture for 10 years.

The FTC vote to issue the complaint and accept the proposed consent order for public comment was 4-0.

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