Fas Mart’s parent to buy chain that will more than double its size

By Randy Hallman | Richmond Times-Dispatch

GPM Investments LLC, the Henrico County-based parent company and operator of the Fas Mart and Shore Stop convenience stores, has agreed to acquire a chain that will more than double its store count.

GPM announced Friday that it plans to buy North Carolina-based VPS Convenience Store Group’s Southeast division, consisting of 263 company-operated convenience stores, an additional 33 dealer-owned locations that GPM will supply and a fuel transportation business.
 

Terms of the private transaction were not disclosed, but GPM CEO Arik Kotler told Bloomberg BusinessWeek in November that the company was in talks for a $50 million acquisition of stores.

Most of the VPS Southeast division stores are in North Carolina and South Carolina, where GPM has very few stores. The VPS locations operate under several brands — Scotchman, Young’s, Li’l Cricket, Everyday Shop and Cigarette City.

GPM already operates 204 convenience stores in nine states under the Fas Mart and Shore Stop brands and distributes fuel to 110 independent convenience stores and gas stations.

When complete, the acquisition will push those numbers to 467 company-owned stores and 143 independent dealer locations. GPM has 124 stores in Virginia and will add 22 in the state with the acquisition.

Bill Reilly, senior vice president of marketing for GPM, said the acquisition gives the company increased economy of scale.

“The goal is to continue to grow through acquisition of additional convenience store companies,” he said. “Someday, we may go public, but we will stay right here in Richmond.”

Reilly said the purchase gives the company an opportunity to “share intellectual property — their brands and concepts, our brands and concepts. We’ll make collaborative decisions about what’s best for us.”

GPM also operates 15 Subway franchises, one Taco Bell franchise and 50 restaurants featuring Southern fried chicken. The company’s locations serve its proprietary Perfect Harvest Coffee Co. branded coffee.

GPM is the largest Valero distributor in the Mid-Atlantic and third-largest in the country, according to a statement released Friday.

VPS, based in Wilmington, N.C., is an affiliated portfolio company of Sun Capital Partners Inc., an international investment firm.

 

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