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Mergers & Acquisitions

Empire Petroleum Completes Purchase of 70 Corner Stores

Acquisition from Couche-Tard creates multiregional operator

DALLAS -- While Empire Petroleum Partners LLC's focus has been on developing a national wholesale distribution network, its acquisition of 70 CST Brands Inc. Corner Store properties in seven states from Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. “springboards” it into a multiregional retail operator, the company said when it closed on the deal.

Dallas-based Empire Petroleum closed on its purchase of the Corner Stores in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas on Sept. 7.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the stores are within the following metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs): Phoenix; El Paso, Texas; Tucson, Ariz.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Denver; Jacksonville, Fla.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Corpus Christi, Texas; Austin, Texas; Shreveport, La.; Albany, Ga.; Cleveland; Las Cruces, N.M.; Savannah, Ga.; Sierra Vista, Ariz.; and Warner Robins, Ga.

"Empire is excited to grow its current retail network in Colorado and Texas, while also entering into new markets in Arizona and Florida," said Jeff Goodwin, COO.

“We are excited to add these high-quality assets to our portfolio and to continue executing on our aggressive growth strategy in the years to come," said Rocky Dewbre, Empire Petroleum’s incoming CEO.

Empire Petroleum said it intends to hire as many of the former CST Brands employees as possible to remain at the stores. "The dedication and tenure of the CST staff at these stores is one of the most important benefits we received in this acquisition, and we welcome each of our new employees to the Empire family," Goodwin said.

The deal is part of a mergers-and-acquisitions (M&A) thread that leads back to Couche-Tard’s $4.4 billion acquisition of CST Brands Inc., which it completed in June. San Antonio-based CST Brands had more than 2,000 convenience stores in Texas, the Southwest, the Southeast, New York and eastern Canada.

To satisfy Canadian competitive issues, Couche-Tard also sold 159 of CST Brands' company-operated sites, independent dealers and network of commission agents in Canada to Parkland Fuel Corp., Calgary, for $753 million.

And to satisfy competitive issues raised by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Couche-Tard entered in an agreement to sell 70 company-operated sites to Empire Petroleum.

To facilitate Empire’s purchase, it then entered into an agreement with Getty Realty Corp., Jericho, N.Y., providing acquisition leaseback funding to Empire, which will acquire fee-simple interests in 49 c-store and gas-station properties for $123 million under a unitary lease.

Empire Petroleum distributes motor-fuel brands including Shell, Chevron, Texaco, Valero, Sunoco, BP, Exxon, Mobil, CITGO, Marathon, Gulf and Phillips 66. It distributes over 1.2 billion gallons of motor-fuel products to more than 1,600 gas stations in 30 states and the District of Columbia.

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