Mergers & Acquisitions

Mad Max Looks Beyond Yesway

With acquisition a no-go, potential exit turns into expansion plans

SAUKVILLE, Wis. -- After a sale fell through late last year that would have meant exiting the convenience-store business, Wisconsin retailer Mad Max plans to move in the opposite direction: expansion.

In August 2017, Mad Max Convenience Stores had confirmed a deal to sell nine c-stores and gas stations in southeastern Wisconsin to Yesway and two other locations to unnamed buyers. The stores would have been Yesway’s first locations in Wisconsin.

Mad Max Convenience Stores CEO Janiece Maxwell told CSP Daily News that Yesway’s parent company, Beverly, Mass.-based Brookwood Financial Partners LLC, approached the company in January 2017 about a sale.

“We weren’t interested in selling or looking to sell; it just happened,” Maxwellsaid in August. “We had just built a brand-new store and were actually looking at buying a few other locations. But there’s a lot of competition coming into Wisconsin by national companies. ... We had gotten calls from different national companies in December and January, and we talked to all of them. We ended up going with Yesway.”

Maxwell said they expected the sale to Yesway to close in late October; however, in October, Steve Magestro, president of Mad Max, told CSP Daily News that the sale would not happen. “The deal is dead,” he said. He offered no details on the other deals. "We are still running the locations and moving forward with growing like we planned before Yesway. The plan is to grow over the next 10 to 15 years and try to get to 50 locations."

Yesway also confirmed the termination of the acquisition. “While we are not moving forward with an acquisition of Mad Max convenience stores at this time, we wish them continued success and remain open to acquisition opportunities that may present themselves in the future as we seek to expand Yesway’s footprint in the Midwest,” a spokesperson told CSP Daily News in October.

At the time, Yesway operated approximately 70 stores in Iowa, Kansas and Texas. The West Des Moines, Iowa-based company now has 85 locations and has added Missouri and Oklahoma to its roster of states.

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