Richmond Times-Dispatch

FasMart owner plans to buy 60-store chain in Midwest

Henrico’s GPMhas not divulged details of $100 million deal

- BY GREGORY J. GILLIGAN ggilligan@timesdispa­ (804) 649-6379

GPM Investment­s LLC, the parent company of FasMart and more than a dozen other convenienc­e store chains, plans to acquire a 60-store chain in the Midwest.

The Henrico Countybase­d company said it signed a non-binding letter of intent on Sunday to buy the unnamed chain for about $100 million plus the value of inventory and cash in those stores, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The regulatory filing did not name the 60-store company that GPM intends to buy, but it said the chain to be acquired has self-operated sites.

The terms of the letter of intent include the potential acquisitio­n of four additional convenienc­e stores that the selling chain is currently negotiatin­g to acquire, according to the filings. GPM would then acquire those stores for additional funds.

GPM has been granted an exclusivit­y period in which to negotiate a definitive agreement, the filings show. It did not say when the exclusivit­y period ends or when the deal is expected to be completed.

Arie Kotler, GPM’s chief executive, declined to comment because of a pending deal to have GPM be listed on a major U.S. stock exchange.

GPM and Arko Holdings Ltd., the Israeli public holding company that controls the majority of GPM, plans to merge with Haymaker Acquisitio­n Corp. II, a Nasdaq-listed special purpose acquisitio­n company.

Once that happens, the combined company will be listed on Nasdaq. At that time, shares of Arko will be delisted from the Tel Aviv stock exchange. The companies signed a letter of intent to merge in July and a definitive letter of intent in September.

The deal should close during the fourth quarter.

GPM is the seventhlar­gest convenienc­e store chain in the U.S. based on company-owned locations and is the largest privately owned company in the convenienc­e store industry.

In October, GPM completed the purchase of Dallas-based Empire Petroleum Partners LLC, which diversifie­d its business mix and expanded its footprint into 10 more states.

GPMnow operates or distribute­s fuel to nearly 3,000 gas stations in 33 states andWashing­ton, D.C.

In addition to FasMart, GPM operates chains under names including Admiral, AppleMarke­t,

Jiffi Stop, Li’l Cricket, E-Z Mart, Roadrunner­Markets, Scotchman, Shore Stop and Village Pantry.

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