Mergers & Acquisitions

Global’s Wheels Deal Gets FTC Seal of Approval

Agency requires divestitures to Petroleum Marketing Investment Group

WASHINGTON — Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved a final order settling charges that Global Partners LP’s acquisition of 27 retail gasoline and diesel outlets under the Wheels brand owned or operated by Richard Wiehl violates federal antitrust laws.

Under the terms of the final settlement, Global Partners and Wiehl must divest six Global retail fuel outlets and one Wheels retail fuel outlet to Petroleum Marketing Investment Group, among other conditions.

To further protect competition in the relevant markets, the order also mandates that both Global Partners and the divestiture buyer, Petroleum Marketing Investment Group, Falls Church, Va., obtain the commission’s prior approval for future deals.

Announced in December, the complaint alleged that the acquisition would have significantly increased concentration in markets for the retail sale of gasoline in Fairfield, Bethel, Milford, Wilton and Shelton, Conn. In all these local markets except Wilton, the acquisition would also have harmed competition for the retail sale of diesel fuel, according to the complaint.

In January, Waltham, Mass.-based Global Partners completed the purchase, announced in December, of retail fuel and convenience-store assets from Wiehl’s Consumers Petroleum of Connecticut Inc., Milford, Conn., including 26 company-operated Wheels stores in Connecticut. The deal also includes fuel supply agreements with 22 sites in Connecticut and New York. As part of a FTC consent order, Global Partners has divested seven retail sites in Connecticut.

  • Global Partners is No. 26 on CSP’s 2022 Top 40 Update to the 2021 Top 202 ranking of U.S. c-store chains by store count. Watch for the full 2022 Top 202 ranking in the June issue of CSP magazine.

With more than 1,600 retail locations and more than 20 bulk energy terminals primarily in the Northeast, master limited partnership (MLP) Global Partners is one of the region’s largest independent owners, suppliers and operators of gas stations and c-stores. The company also owns, controls or has access to one of the largest terminal networks in New England and New York, through which it distributes gasoline, distillates, residual oil and renewable fuels to wholesalers, retailers and commercial customers. In addition, it engages in the transportation of petroleum products and renewable fuels by rail from the mid-continental United States and Canada.

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