Mergers & Acquisitions

More Deals in the Works for Riiser Fuels

Wisconsin c-store retailer has another acquisition on tap and is seeking others

WAUSAU, Wis. -- Another deal is in the works for newly formed Riiser Fuels LLC. Its recent purchase of two Wisconsin convenience-store chains, R-Store and Mad Max, has put the company on a regional growth trajectory. Another deal is in the works for six stores in eastern Wisconsin, and Riiser expects to make additional acquisitions in the Badger State, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

“We certainly have the capital to do that and the management team that could handle further growth,” Don Draughon, president, told the newspaper. “We're looking for tuck-in acquisitions."

Draughon sees Wisconsin as a good market. “Our plan is to grow just strategically within the same geographic region and [add] these five- to 20-store chains,” he told the Journal Sentinel. “There’s just ample opportunity to buy and consolidate—put several 10- or 20-store chains together to actually get to a size where you can afford your own corporate staff to manage it.”

Based in Wausau, Wis., Riiser Fuels is an investment group that partners Draughon and Jeffrey (J.D.) Dykstra formed in June to acquire the 34-unit R-Store c-store chain Riiser Energy from owners Dudley Investments LLC, Wildcatters LLC and Kemerling Investments LLC.

Draughon’s previous c-store venture, 250-store Convenience USA, Chapel Hill, N.C., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2001. Draughon and Dykstra also bought a chain of about 50 c-stores in Virginia and Kentucky and then sold them to a larger company.

In July, Riiser Fuels acquired the 11 locations of Saukville, Wis.-based Mad Max Convenience Stores. The deal includes 10 c-stores, a truckstop, a restaurant and a wholesale fuel business located between Port Washington and Oshkosh.

When Riiser Fuels approached Mad Max executives about a deal, it “appeared to be a good fit for them to exit as owners and for the Mad Max employees to be able to work with a local and established convenience-store chain such as Riiser Fuels,” said Janiece Maxwell, president of Mad Max Convenience Stores.

In August 2017, Mad Max confirmed a deal to sell nine c-stores in southeastern Wisconsin to West Des Moines, Iowa-based c-store retailer Yesway and two other locations to unnamed buyers; however, that sale fell through, Steve Magestro, president of Mad Max, told CSP Daily News.

Draughon said two separate real estate investment trusts (REITs) bought the properties of the Riiser and Mad Max chains and are leasing them to Draughon and Dykstra’s company, according to the newspaper.

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