Mergers & Acquisitions

Marathon Petroleum Exploring Sale of Speedway

Report: C-store chain attracting buyers ahead of announced spinoff
Photograph courtesy of Marathon Petroleum Corp.

FINDLAY, Ohio — Marathon Petroleum Corp., which in late 2019 announced it would spin off its Speedway convenience-store network, is exploring a sale of Speedway, according to a Bloomberg report citing people familiar with the matter. The retail network has drawn interest from potential buyers, according to the sources, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public.

Marathon Petroleum announced Oct. 31 that it intended to spin off its 4,000-unit Speedway retail network into an independent, publicly traded company, creating the largest U.S.-listed convenience store operator. Part of an ongoing strategic review, that decision came in part also through a push by New York-based Elliott Management, which holds a 2.5% stake in the integrated refiner-marketer, for Marathon Petroleum to separate into three independent companies: refining, midstream and retail.

The company said it has targeted early fourth-quarter 2020 to complete a spinoff, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

Concerning a possible sale, a representative for Marathon Petroleum told CSP Daily News that the company does not comment on speculation.

“In retail, our team is making good progress on the Speedway separation, while continuing to identify opportunities to grow merchandise margin through store conversions and remodels,” Chairman and CEO Gary Heminger said during the company’s fourth-quarter 2019 earnings call in late January.

“We also realized $121 million of synergies in the retail segment associated with economies of scale and implementation of the Speedway labor and merchandise models at the newly converted stores,” CFO Don Templin said on the call. “We expect to invest approximately $550 million in the retail segment, primarily to build new Speedway stores and to rebuild and remodel existing Speedway locations.”

  • Speedway is No. 3 on CSP’s 2019 Top 202 ranking of U.S. c-store chains by number of company-owned retail locations.

Findlay, Ohio-based Marathon Petroleum is an integrated downstream energy company. It operates 16 refineries, and its marketing system includes approximately 7,800 branded U.S. locations, including about 5,600 Marathon-branded retail outlets. It also owns the general partner and majority limited partner interest in midstream marketing company MPLX. Marathon Petroleum subsidiary Speedway LLC, Enon, Ohio, owns and operates approximately 4,000 convenience stores in 30 states under the brands Speedway, SuperAmerica, Arco and others.

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