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DALLAS -- Nearly two months after EZ Energy Ltd., parent of EZ Energy USA Inc., revealed it was selling its U.S. gas station and convenience store holdings to an unnamed "foreign gas station operator," 7-Eleven Inc. has been revealed as the buyer. The deal reportedly carries a $64 million price tag.
According to a report by Crain's Cleveland Business, 7-Eleven was named as the buyer in a purchase and sale agreement that EZ Energy circulated among its vendors. In addition, the Federal Trade Commission issued an early antitrust clearance for the transaction on Aug. 27. This acquisition will give the convenience store giant 91 new locations in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Gregg Budoi, EZ Energy USA’s president and CEO, declined to comment to Crain's on whether 7-Eleven is the prospective buyer for its Easytrip chain of c-stores. However, Budoi said the sale may close as late as Oct. 15 rather than by the publicized Sept. 15 date.
"We gave ourselves some wiggle room," said Budoi, the one-time chief financial officer of the former Dairy Mart Inc. convenience store chain, which is now is owned by Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.’s Circle K Stores.
Auday Arabbo, president and CEO of the Associated Food and Petroleum Dealers trade group, which is based in West Bloomfield, Mich., and has 1,000 Ohio members, told Crain's that he "would not be surprised" to see 7-Eleven emerge as EZ Energy's buyer. "7-Eleven has been very aggressive,” Arabbo said. "They offer a pretty good deal to operators in terms of changing their location's appearance. The commercial activity tax gives an advantage to the monsters of the industry. 7-Eleven can make it up on sales of other items (such as food and drinks) because you can't make money on gasoline and stay in business at all."
7-Eleven did not comment on the news report.