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Gas Stations and Private Equity Line Up to Bid for Speedway

By Rich Smith – Jul 22, 2020 at 9:17PM

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7-Eleven could emerge from this as the undisputed king of gas station convenience stores.

Marathon Petroleum (MPC 2.48%) has spread its network of 3,900 "Speedway" gas stations and convenience stores across 36 states in the union. Now, Marathon is gearing up to sell the whole kit and caboodle -- and bidders are getting in line.  

As Reuters reported Wednesday, at least four potential buyers are preparing to submit bids to acquire Speedway from the oil refinery company:  

A gas station and convenience store at night.

Image source: Getty Images.

7-Eleven owner Seven & I Holdings (SVNDY -0.11%) already has America's biggest chain of gas stations-cum-convenience stores -- 11,800 of them. Acquiring Speedway would only increase its lead. Seven & I tried to buy Speedway in March for $20 billion, but now may get a chance to acquire it for as little as $15 billion to $17 billion.  

Canada's Alimentation Couche-Tard (ANCU.F), which includes the Circle K brand of filling stations in its holdings, already operates a 9,400-strong chain across the continent. Couche-Tard seeks a private equity partner for its bid and aims to split up Speedway after acquisition to avoid raising antimonopoly concerns by growing too big, too fast. 

Private equity firm TDR Capital -- which originally intended to support Couche-Tard's bid -- is now preparing to make an all-cash offer on its own.

Finally, Murphy USA (MUSA 0.35%) is pondering a bid that could theoretically quadruple its size by adding Speedway's 3,900 locations to its own 1,300.

If these bidders fail to offer a price it likes, Marathon says it will spin off Speedway to its own shareholders as a separate company in a transaction to take place by the first quarter of 2021.

Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Marathon Petroleum Corporation Stock Quote
Marathon Petroleum Corporation
MPC
$91.76 (2.48%) $2.22
Murphy USA Inc. Stock Quote
Murphy USA Inc.
MUSA
$267.57 (0.35%) $0.93
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. Stock Quote
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.
ANCU.F
Seven & i Holdings Co., Ltd. Stock Quote
Seven & i Holdings Co., Ltd.
SVNDY
$20.25 (-0.11%) $0.02

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