Mergers & Acquisitions

TravelCenters of America Queues Up QMart

With sale, Quality State Oil exits convenience-store business

WESTLAKE, Ohio -- Continuing its foray into convenience stores, TravelCenters of America LLC announced officially that it has completed its acquisition of 17 QMart convenience stores in Wisconsin from fuel and lubricants distributor and transporter Quality State Oil Co Inc.

Greg Bultman QMarts Quality State Oil

Sheboygan, Wis.-based Quality State Oil is exiting retail with this deal.

"It was just a good time to put the 17 stores in the hands of a larger operator," Greg Bultman, president of Quality State Oil, told The Sheboygan Press.

He said that Quality State Oil and its 50 employees will remain in Sheboygan and that part of the operation is otherwise not affected by the sale.

Terry Monroe of American Business Brokers & Advisors,  Effingham, Ill., and Bill Fecht of W.J.F. Services Inc., Normal, Ill., provided merger and acquisition advisory services to Quality State Oil.

TravelCenters of America began expanding into convenience stores when it purchased 31 Minit Marts in the Bowling Green, Ky., area in 2013. During first-quarter 2015, it acquired 26 convenience stores in three separate transactions including 19 Best Oil Little Stores in March 2015, mostly in Minnesota. In May 2015, it acquired 19 convenience stores principally in Kansas and Missouri from Overland Park, Kansas-based Gas-Mart USA. It acquired 33 c-stores in Illinois with the purchase of Gardner, Ill.-based MKM Oil Co.’s Fast N Fresh chain.

During the company’s second-quarter 2015 earnings call in August 2015, CEO Thomas O’Brien said that TravelCenters of America agreed to acquire 123 additional convenience stores in six separate transactions through the end of the year.

Among these were seven Stop-A-Sec convenience stores in Wisconsin from Luck, Wis.-based Seck Enterprises and 10 c-stores in Ohio that it acquired in December from Stop’n Go of Medina Inc., Medina, Ohio.

“Our convenience-store portfolio will have grown from 34 locations principally in one state at the beginning of the year to over 200 locations in 11 principally Midwest states,” said O’Brien at the time.

In early January 2016, the company acquired of four Meiners’ Market c-stores in Kansas and Missouri from Meiners Corp.

In February, it acquired five TD Pete’s c-stores in northeastern Illinois from the Bradley, Ill.-based company.

TravelCenters of America said the QMart convenience stores will be rebranded as Minit Mart and that they will undergo improvements in the coming months.

The company is rebranding all of its acquired and legacy convenience stores to its Minit Mart brand, including the c-stores at its travel centers.

Westlake, Ohio-based TravelCenters of America operates 253 full-service travel centers in 43 states and Canada, principally under the TA and Petro Stopping Centers travel center brands. The company also operates more than 200 convenience stores, principally under the Minit Mart brand, in 11 states.

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