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    The Pantry Gets Jump on 2007 Expansion

    So far this fiscal year, the chain acquired seven stores and signed agreements for eight more.

    SANFORD, N.C. -- The Pantry Inc, the leading independently-operated convenience store chain in the southeastern U.S., reported yesterday it has acquired seven stores in four separate transactions, in Tennessee, Mississippi and the Carolinas, so far in fiscal year 2007.

    The company also has signed definitive agreements to acquire eight stores -- seven in Mississippi and one in Naples, Fla., which will be the company's first store in the south Florida market. Those transactions are expected to close during the first fiscal quarter.
    During fiscal year 2006, which ended Sept, 28, The Pantry acquired 113 stores, an increase from the 96 stores acquired in fiscal year 2005. As of Sept. 28, the chain operated 1,493 stores in 11 states under select banners, including Kangaroo Express, its primary operating banner.

    Over the final six weeks of fiscal 2006, the chain acquired an additional five c-stores in Mississippi and Florida, including two in Florida's Panhandle, which marked its initial entry into that market. In addition, The Pantry opened five new large-format stores during fiscal 2006.

    Chairman and chief executive officer Peter J. Sodini said, "We are pleased with the steady flow of these smaller, but strategically important, acquisitions that we have completed over the last three months. The pipeline of potential deals looks especially promising for fiscal 2007. We also are continuing to ramp up our store development program, which should result in about 20 new store openings during fiscal 2007, to complement our acquisition strategy and accelerate our growth."

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