7-Eleven Clinches Cleveland, Picks Up Pittsburgh

Published in CSP Daily News

EZ Energy USA, Handee Marts acquisitions offer "immediate presence"

DALLAS -- Putting to rest speculation as to the buyer, EZ Energy USA Inc. has been acquired by 7-Eleven Inc., the Dallas-based retailer has announced. 7-Eleven said that it has closed deals with both EZ Energy USA and Handee Marts Inc., acquiring a combined total of 125 retail locations.

As reported in a Raymond James/CSP Daily News Flash on Friday, the EZ Energy purchase includes 67 Easy Trip and BP convenience stores in the Cleveland and Pittsburgh markets and the wholesale fuel-supply business that supports 20 of EZ Energy's dealer-operators.

Seven Hills, Ohio-based EZ Energy USA operates the Easy Trip chain of c-stores. Its parent company is EZ Energy Ltd, which has headquarters in Israel.

EZ Energy locations offer mostly BP- and Marathon-branded gasoline.

7-Eleven plans to rebrand EZ Energy's stores starting early 2013.

Earlier this year, CSP Daily News reported that Israel-based parent company EZ Energy Ltd. was selling its gas station and c-store operations for $64 million to what the company called a "foreign gas station operator." Officials would not disclose the buyer officially at that time.

Before that, EZ Energy turned down an offer by Arko Holdings Ltd., owners of Richmond, VA.-based GPM Investments in the United States, to buy half of the company's U.S. operations.

(See Related Content below for previous CSP Daily News coverage of EZ Energy USA's sale.)

Through the deal with licensee Handee Marts Inc., the Dallas-based convenience store giant has acquired 58 7-Eleven stores also in Cleveland and Pittsburgh markets, as well as locations in northern West Virginia and western Maryland.

Gibsonia, Pa.-based Handee Marts has 38 stores offering gasoline under a variety of brands, including Exxon, Gulf, BP, Valero and Sunoco.

Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

"These two acquisitions provide 7-Eleven with an excellent opportunity to have a strong presence immediately in both the Cleveland and Pittsburgh areas," said Stan Reynolds, 7-Eleven Inc.'s executive vice president and CFO. "We also are interested in looking at other locations in these markets to further expand our presence there."

7-Eleven will add its proprietary retail information system and technology for enhanced product-ordering capabilities at these locations. And it will off its 7-Select private brand and other well-known proprietary products like 7-Eleven coffee, Slurpee and Big Gulp drinks, grill products plus standard convenience-store items will be offered. The company will soon offer money orders and accept food stamps.

Last month, 7-Eleven closed a deal with another of its domestic licensees, Prima Marketing, which added 74 locations to 7-Eleven, Inc.'s roster of stores, mostly in West Virginia, but also in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Kentucky. Currently, the company operates and franchises 181 stores in Pennsylvania and 11 in Ohio, it said.

(See Related Content below for previous CSP Daily News coverage of the Prima deal.)

7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses approximately 9,500 7-Eleven stores in North America. Globally, there are some 48,000 7-Eleven stores in 16 countries. During 2011, 7-Eleven stores worldwide generated total sales close to $76.6 billion.