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    Fas Mart Parent in Talks to Sell

    Metis Capital reportedly in talks with Australian company to sell its ownership in the 350 convenience store stations.

    By Mehgan Belanger

    RICHMOND, Va. -- Israeli company Metis Capital Ltd., which engaged in a hostile takeover last year of Ameris Holdings Ltd. and its subsidiary, Petro Group Ltd. -- owner of Fas Mart operator GPM Investments -- is in talks to sell its entire stake in Petro Group to an Australian gas station company, Globes Online reported.

    "This will be the fourth or fifth time our parent has change hands since 2003," Dave McComas, CEO of GPM Investments, told CSNews Online. "This is an opportunity for Metis to sell the stock they've acquired and make a profit."

    If the deal is completed, McComas doesn't anticipate any effect on the convenience store company's day-to-day business.

    "On a positive note, the company looking to make the acquisition is in the business, so it's exciting for us to potentially have a parent in the retail fuel business," he added.

    The deal is reportedly NIS 120 million ($32.2 million U.S.), 115 percent higher than Petro Group's market cap according to the Web site.
    "Petro Group owns 350 gas stations. The company can be developed both in terms of the number of gas stations, and by entering the refining business," Metis Chairman Amnon Barzilai told Globes Online. "We've decided to make a 'turn', so we've put up all of Metis' assets for sale. When there's a profit, take it and run, that's our policy. We've decided to sell everything because we now have an opportunity. We intend to take over a large income-producing real estate company in the U.S."
    In January 2009, Metis Capital Ltd. attempted the hostile takeover by purchasing 986,141 shares of Petro Group, bringing its total to 1.8 million shares, or 11.7 percent of the company, CSNews Online reported at the time. Metis also held 62 percent of Ameris' bonds.

    Petro Group's GPM Investments operates the Fas Mart and Double Kwik convenience chains in the U.S. At the time of the attempted takeover, McComas said the move would not influence GPM Investments or the convenience store chains.

    "This is just a financial transaction on a foreign stock exchange," he told CSNews at the time. "Metis is buying stocks as an investment, and it really has nothing to do with our company or ownership. I don't anticipate any changes in our operations, regardless of who has control of Ameris."

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    By Mehgan Belanger
    • About Mehgan Belanger

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