The Pantry Keeps Growing

Southeast chain adds 13 Speedmart Food Stores

Published in CSP Daily News

SANFORD, N.C.-- And that brings the total number of stores purchased by The Pantry this year to 92. That is, yesterday's announcement that the Sanford, N.C.-based company is buying 13 convenience stores in Alabama from Chatham Oil Company Inc.

The stores will continue to be operated under the Speedmart Food Stores banner until the Pantry has a chance to reconcile the purchase with other stores in the Alabama market, a relatively new market for the Pantry first entered earlier this year with the purchase of the Cowboys chain from D&D Oil Co. [image-nocss] in April.

We are pleased to announce this acquisition, which strengthens our position in Alabama by adding stores that will complement the existing 25 stores we currently operate in that market, said Peter J. Sodini, president and CEO of The Pantry. This transaction is consistent with our tuck-in acquisition strategy, which is focused on adding stores that enhance our market presence. Further, we expect the addition of these units to be immediately accretive to our earnings per share.

The Chatham Oil acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the company's fourth fiscal quarter. The company plans to finance the transaction with cash on hand. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Attempts to reach Tuscaloosa, Ala.-based Chatham Oil for comment were unsuccessful.

This is the fourth store-purchase announcement made by The Pantry in the past five months. The others include:

23 Sentry Food Marts in Virginia from Angus I. Hines Inc. on June 16. Three c-stores and one development site in Charleston, S.C., from an unnamed retailer on May 13. 53 Cowboys stores in Alabama (23), Georgia (29) and Mississippi (1) from D&D Oil Co. on April 22.

The Pantry Inc. is one of the largest independently operated convenience store chains in the country, with net sales for fiscal 2004 of approximately $3.5 billion. As of June 30, 2005, the company operated 1,386 stores in eleven states under a number of banners, including Kangaroo Express, The Pantry, Golden Gallon, Cowboys and Lil Champ Food Store.