ANDERSON, Ind. -- Giant Eagle Inc., one of the nation’s largest multiformat food, fuel and pharmacy retailers, has completed the acquisition of Ricker Oil Co. Inc., which was announced in September and took the convenience-store industry by surprise.
The finalized agreement brings Giant Eagle’s GetGo Cafe + Market and Ricker’s convenience-store brands together in serving customers throughout Indiana. Ricker’s 56 c-stores are in the Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, Ind., metropolitan areas and central Indiana. GetGo operates about 200 c-stores in western Pennsylvania, Ohio, northern West Virginia, Maryland and Indiana
Matrix Capital Markets Group Inc., Richmond, Va., provided merger and acquisition advisory services to Giant Eagle, which included valuation advisory, transaction structuring and negotiation of the transaction.
The supermarket and convenience retailer opened the first GetGo Cafe + Market in the Indianapolis area in October 2015. There are now seven GetGo locations in central Indiana. The Ricker’s acquisition provides Giant Eagle with additional scale in the Indiana market as well as opportunities to leverage the strength of both the GetGo and Ricker’s brands, it said.
In addition to the Ricker’s c-stores, the agreement also includes the acquisition of Anderson, Ind.-based Ricker Oil’s wholesale fuels distribution business of about 80 branded supply accounts in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.
“At GetGo, our positioning of taking the ‘cons out of convenience’ means we offer the highest quality fresh foods, products and services to our customers,” said Polly Flinn, Giant Eagle’s executive vice president and general manager of GetGo. “Our acquisition of the Ricker’s chain supports this strategy, and we look forward to bringing together the best of both businesses in Indiana.”
Although a comparatively small chain, Ricker's has a reputation for being one of the most innovative companies in the c-store channel, particularly in foodservice and its use of new technology, so most industry observers did not expect a sale.
Jay Ricker, chairman of the chain, said Giant Eagle approached him about making a deal. With retirement in mind, the offer “made too much sense to turn it down,” he told the Indiana Business Journal. “This new business arrangement will help us maintain our position as a leader in the convenience-store industry.”
Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle Inc., with $8.9 billion in annual sales, operates 175 corporate and 54 independently owned and operated supermarkets in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland and Indiana.