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Mergers & Acquisitions

Sunoco’s Retail Exit ‘Effectively Complete’

Refiner wraps up conversion of West Texas c-stores to commission-agent model

DALLAS -- Master limited partnership (MLP) Sunoco LP has completed the conversion of its 207 retail sites in several West Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico markets to a single commission agent, the company has announced. With this conversion complete, Sunoco's transition out of the majority of its convenience-store operations in the continental United States is “effectively complete,” it said.

The move follows the sale of most of its company-operated retail outlets to Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven Inc., which closed on the acquisition of about 1,030 Sunoco c-stores in 17 states, mainly in Texas, New York and Florida, in late January.

The $3.3 billion acquisition is the largest in 7-Eleven’s history, and it brings the retailer’s total store count to about 9,700 in the United States and Canada.

  • 7-Eleven ranked No. 1 in CSP’s 2017 Top 202 ranking of c-store chains by number of company-owned retail outlets. Sunoco took the No. 6 slot. Click here to read "Ranking the Top 40 C-Store Chains: A Year-End Review."

Sunoco will continue to operate sites along the New Jersey and New York toll roads along with its retail operations in Hawaii. Following the 7-Eleven and commission-agent deals, Sunoco will have about 80 company-operated sites (including 54 Aloha Petroleum sites in Hawaii), about 400 commission-agent locations, about 2,700 dealer locations (including 979 7-Eleven sites) and about 3,800 distributor locations, according to the company. It distributes motor fuel to about 9,200 convenience stores, independent dealers, commercial customers and distributors in more than 30 states.

Under the commission-agent model, Sunoco owns, prices and sells fuel at the sites, paying the agent a fixed cents-per-gallon commission.

Sunoco continues to own about two-thirds of this portfolio in fee and will receive rental income from the commission agent, who will conduct all operations related to the convenience store and any related restaurant locations.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) last week approved a final order settling charges that 7-Eleven’s acquisition of the Sunoco c-stores would violate antitrust law. It required 7-Eleven to sell 26 retail fuel outlets that it owns to Sunoco, and required Sunoco to retain 33 retail fuel outlets that 7-Eleven otherwise would have acquired.

Dallas-based Sunoco LP’s general partner is owned by Energy Transfer Equity LP, also based in Dallas.

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