Mergers & Acquisitions

7-Eleven Parent in Exclusive Talks to Buy Speedway

Report: Seven & i expected to announce deal next week
Photograph courtesy of Marathon Petroleum

TOKYO — Seven & i Holdings Co. Ltd., the parent company of 7-Eleven Inc., is in exclusive talks to acquire Marathon Petroleum Corp.’s Speedway convenience-store network for approximately $22 billion, according to a Bloomberg report citing people familiar with the matter.

Tokyo-based Seven & i is lining up financing for the potential transaction, which could be announced as soon as next week, said the sources, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. No final decision has been made and discussions could fall through, they said.

Seven & i confirmed that it was considering an acquisition, said a Reuters report. It did not deny reports by Bloomberg and Nikkei that it was in exclusive talks to buy Speedway. Representatives for Marathon Petroleum declined to comment to Bloomberg.

Seven & i, which runs the 7-Eleven convenience store chain, said in a statement it had not decided on any acquisitions.

Through Speedway LLC, Marathon Petroleum Corp. owns and operates approximately 4,000 c-stores in 30 states, primarily under the Speedway, SuperAmerica and Arco brands. Speedway is No. 3 on the Top 40 update to CSP’s2019 Top 202 ranking of U.S. c-store chains by number of retail outlets.

Prompted by activist investors, as well as an ongoing evaluation of its business units, Findlay, Ohio-based Marathon Petroleum began a strategic review of Speedway in 2017. Based on a recommendation from an independent committee, Marathon Petroleum decided to keep Speedway as an integrated business unit. By late 2019, however, continuing investor pressure and changes in the marketplace prompted Marathon Petroleum to decide to spin off the retail unit into an independent, publicly traded company. In late January, Marathon Petroleum also began exploring a sale of Speedway rather than a spinoff, and it has attracted several major buyers.

Along with Seven & i, TDR Capital, a private equity firm connected to Blackburn, U.K.-based c-store retailer EG Group, was also reportedly considering a bid for the Enon, Ohio-based chain. EG Group, through Westborough, Mass.-based EG America, owns more than 1,675 c-stores in the United States, including Cumberland Farms. It is No. 6 on CSP's Top 202 list.

Seven & i, Japan’s largest c-store operator, has more than 69,000 stores in 18 markets globally. Based in Irving, Texas, 7-Eleven Inc. operates, franchises or licenses more than 70,000 stores in 17 countries, including more than 9,350 in the United States. 7-Eleven is No. 1 on CSP’s Top 202 ranking.

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