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Mergers & Acquisitions

Stinker Stores Seizes Colorado Expansion Opportunity

Acquisition of 41 Bradley, Sav-O-Mat stores offers 'good chance to get into a brand new market'

BOISE, Idaho – Stinker Stores Inc. is “in growth mode,” said Charley Jones, president of the major regional convenience-store chain.

Leveraging an opportunity that allows the Boise, Idaho-based company to expand into two additional states, Stinker Stores has acquired Bradley Petroleum Inc. and Sav-O-Mat Inc. in a deal that includes 40 locations in Colorado and one in Wyoming. Most of the units Stinker Stores purchased are branded Bradley, while about a half-dozen are branded Sav-O-Mat.

Bradley Petroleum operates Sinclair stations in the Colorado market, especially in the Denver metropolitan region. They are high-volume fuel sites located in high-traffic areas, configured to offer ease of ingress and egress for enhanced convenience and speed of refueling.

All but one of Stinker Stores’ 65 locations are branded Sinclair. (One is branded Chevron.)

Sinclair has “proven to be a really good business partner,” Jones told CSP Daily News. “A year and a half ago, we were in a strategic conversation with Sinclair and said, ‘If there are any opportunities to grow with you in other markets, we’d like to take a look at them.’ ” Sinclair said that Bradley Petroleum was for sale.

“In our Idaho market, we’ve got room to grow, but we’ve got a significant market share, and probably diminishing opportunities to grow in the Idaho market in terms of number of stores,” said Jones. “I’ve got a really good, talented management team … [and] this Colorado market opened up—a brand-new market for us that will give us some diversity. When Idaho is not doing so well, maybe Colorado will. But it’s just a good chance to get into a brand-new market, and the number of stores that Bradley had for sale gave us critical mass. We can put in a management team and run the company, so we saw it as a chance to diversify. It just makes a lot of strategic sense for us.”

Stinker Stores did not buy five c-stores that Bradley Petroleum operates in New Mexico.

“The New Mexico stores were not strategic to me; the distance was huge, and they were not being supplied by Sinclair. And they didn't have critical mass,” Jones said.

He drove to all of the Bradley and Sav-O-Mat stores in late 2015 to check them out.

“New Mexico is a big-a** state to have five stores,” he said. “So when I negotiated the deal, I said I wasn’t interested in those stores.”

Exit Bradley

Bradley Petroleum, meanwhile, is exiting the c-store business.

“This is certainly a bittersweet moment,” said Brad Calkins, president of Denver-based Bradley Petroleum. His family has owned the company for more than 100 years.

“With my family having been in the petroleum business for four generations and me my entire life, it is certainly hard not to look back without some nostalgia,” he said. “I am proud to reflect on everything we have been through in this industry, and how rewarding it’s been for me personally and my entire family. [But] this represented an ideal time for our family and where we want to go with our future endeavors.”

Matrix Capital Markets Group Inc., Richmond, Va., provided merger and acquisition advisory services to Bradley Petroleum, which included valuation advisory; marketing the business through a confidential, structured sale process; and negotiating the transaction.

“We have been very fortunate to have known and worked with the Calkins family for many years,” said Spencer Cavalier, managing director of Matrix. “We have watched them build a very successful, market-leading company whose longevity spans the work of several generations. We worked hand in hand with the family over the last decade to value the company on several occasions and to advise on how to best position the company to monetize the company assets for further diversification and tax-efficient estate planning.”

For the near term, Stinker Stores is going to retain the Bradley and Sav-O-Mat brands. “When we get opportunities to upgrade the image with Sinclair, we’ll make that evaluation," Jones said. "We bought the trademark and marketing rights for both those names.” 

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