FINDLAY, Ohio -- Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC) could become Ohio's largest company as early as 2015, thanks to an assist from its Speedway LLC convenience store division.
According to the Journal-News, Findlay-based MPC could unseat Dublin, Ohio-based Cardinal Health as the largest company in the Buckeye State in terms of annual revenue. Cardinal Health, a pharmaceutical and medical supply company, has held the state's top spot for the past decade.
One major component that would put oil producer MPC over the top is Speedway's proposed acquisition of Hess Corp.'s 1,256-store retail division for a total cash consideration of $2.87 billion. The transaction is expected to close this quarter.
Once the deal is completed, Speedway will have 2,733 company-owned stores in 23 states, much larger than the nine states it currently operates in.
In 2013, MPC trailed Cardinal Health by just $900 million in sales. However, MPC is expected to overtake Cardinal Health shortly, as the latter will soon see its $22 billion-per-year contract with Walgreen Co. expire.
"We expect continued growth in U.S. oil production and growth from Marathon Petroleum," Jeff Dietert, an analyst who covered the company at Simmons & Co. Intl., told the news outlet. He added that higher fuel prices should also boost MPC's sales.
Once MPC does surpass Cardinal Health, it will have another company nipping at its heels, however. Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. already ranks as Ohio's third-largest company and will receive a significant lift from its $2.5-billion Harris Teeter acquisition announced early this year, the news source reported.